Harris Creek Baptist Church

By Harris Creek

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This is the weekly sermon podcast from Harris Creek Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. Visit www.harriscreek.org for more information.

Episode Date
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
Jun 26, 2022
Uncommon Fathers
Jun 19, 2022
Uncommon Parenting
Jun 12, 2022
Uncommon Marriage
Jun 05, 2022
Uncommon Legacy
May 29, 2022
Generational Baggage
May 22, 2022
Uncommon Men and Women
May 15, 2022
Uncommon Mothers
May 08, 2022
The Final Battle
SUMMARY Have you ever watched a replay of a sporting event where you already knew the outcome? When you know the outcome, it changes how you watch the game. As we finish our series, Unseen Battle, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches through Revelation 19, showing us who wins, who loses, and how we live in light of these truths. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Revelation was not written to confuse the church but to encourage the church. -What you believe about Jesus is of utmost importance; it will directly impact how you live. -Jesus is coming to claim His victory. -Everyone ends up at a feast, but they are two very different feasts. -Satan and his army will lose. -There is no uncontested middle ground in life. You are either living for the glory of God or for the glory of satan. -Jesus taught more about hell than heaven and described it in much greater detail. -The entirety of the Christian life is to prepare for Christ’s return. -Our job is to get ready for the feast. -Jesus wins and then hands us the victory. -This life matters, but what you make important in this life will have eternal significance in the life to come. -When know how everything ends, so don’t get distracted by temporal things here and now. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Revelation 19:6-21 -Sermon: Battle Ready
May 01, 2022
Battle Ready
SUMMARY Have you ever been injured doing an activity because you didn’t prepare, train, or stretch? There is a spiritual war going on at all times, and if you aren’t ready, you will get hurt. As we continue our series, Unseen Battle, JP teaches us how to prepare for battle by teaching through Ephesians 6. KEY TAKEAWAYS -You have everything you need in Jesus to be victorious over the enemy. -You cannot fight a spiritual battle with worldly weapons. You must use spiritual weapons. -You can’t be strong, you must become strong, and you become strong by preparing. -In Ephesians chapters 1-3, there are no commands. It’s all about who Christ is and what He has done for you. -You have one enemy: satan. -We don’t think about the spiritual battle we are in nearly enough. We are too busy being and seeking to be comfortable. -Know the truth. -The spiritual battle that is being fought is over the territory of your mind. -If you know what’s true the enemy can’t deceive you. -Satan runs the same game plan today that he has for thousands of years. -again a heart of righteousness. -Christ’s righteousness is imputed—transferred—upon us because of what He did on our behalf. In light of this, we walk and live as He would have us walk and live. -Christians exist to serve and care and show compassion for others. They are the opposite of toxic and a victim. -Christians are focused on serving their King above all else. They do what is right at every turn. -Build on the gospel. -The gospel is your foundation for everything. Absolutely everything. -As Christians, we are always at war, and yet, we can always have a peace that surpasses understanding. -When you are questioning what you believe, return to the foundation of the gospel…to Jesus. Then, build around that. -Hold on to faith. -Is God real? Is He powerful? Is He good? Is He for you? How you answer these questions greatly matter to your faith. -Be mindful of salvation. -The spiritual war is fought over your mind. This cannot be stated strongly enough! -If you change what someone believes you can change everything about them. -Whatever the enemy is going to do to you he won’t do it for long. -People don’t have a worry in the world the week before they go on vacation. The entire Christian life is the week before an eternal vacation. -Have the Word ready. -All of these weapons are tied together around what is true and what you believe. -When Jesus faced direct temptation from Satan in the desert He quoted Deuteronomy 3 separate times. A knowledge and understanding and handle of the Scriptures is of utmost importance for the Christian. Utmost. -Always pray. -All of this armor comes from and belongs to God. The only way you can get this armor is talking to God. -If you are going to fight someone stronger than you you must find someone stronger than them. -Firefighters compete with one another to see who can get their gear on fastest. They run toward fires time and time again because they have everything they need to put out fires. -We have an enemy who is bad, but if we follow God and practice these things, we will be victorious. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 4:27; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 119:98; Genesis 1:26; Hebrews 13:5; Romans 8:31 -Sermon: The Cure for Dead Religion
Apr 24, 2022
The Cure for Dead Religion
Apr 17, 2022
The Cost of the Cross
Apr 15, 2022
The Right Response to Evil
Apr 10, 2022
Surviving Satan's Attacks
SUMMARY When you are at a low moment, how does satan attack you? What about when you are at a high moment? When and how does he attack you most? As we continue our sermon series, Unseen Battle, JP teaches through the first couple chapters of Job, showing us how the enemy attacks us. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Satan can only do what God allows. -What you feed grows. What you starve dies. -Satan allows us to trust God. Said differently, God allows satan to give us opportunities to trust Him. -If all you had was rainbows and butterflies, you would have no faith. -Who are you going to worship: the god of this age, or the God of the heavens and the earth? -Anywhere there is destruction on earth, satan is behind it. We don’t always know how much or to what extent he is specifically involved, but all pain and suffering and destruction is ultimately tied to him. -You will never get in a bind believing that God can make good from anything. You will often get in a bind telling Him what good to bring. -Things we can learn from Job in his response to God: 1) Fall into worship, 2) Identify good, 3) Resist sin, & 4) Maintain hope. -When someone is in despair, gratitude is the first to go. -One of the main things satan will try to do is discourage you. Stand firm by keeping your hope and faith fixed on Jesus. -If you’ve trusted in Jesus, your next life will be infinitely better than this one. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Job 1:6-2:10; John 14:30; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Peter 5:8-9; 1 John 3:8; Job 19:25-27; Mark 13:13; 1 Corinthians 15:58; 1 Corinthians 16:13-14; 2 Corinthians 1:27; Galatians 5:1; Philippians 1:27 -Sermon: Know Your Enemy
Apr 03, 2022
Know Your Enemy
SUMMARY Do you believe in the devil? If not, why not? If so, how does your belief impact how you live every day? As we start a new series, Unseen Battles, JP teaches through Ezekiel 28, teaching us about the devil, how he works, and how we can resist him. KEY TAKEAWAYS -“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” -C.S. Lewis -If you don’t know your enemy you will suffer loss in every battle. -Angels are created beings; they have not existed in eternity past like God. -Angels are stronger and smarter than humans are. One day, humans will sit and judge over them. -Satan is a fallen angel. -Did God create evil? No. God created the possibility of evil, but not evil. -God created satan as good, and good is a thing. The absence of good is evil. -Light is a thing. Darkness is not a thing. Darkness is the absence of light. Similarly, cold is only a word because hot is a word. Cold is what is left when you remove heat. -When you begin to focus on what you don’t have you begin to step on satan’s playground. -Discontentment blinds you from blessings. -“Is God really good?” is the question behind all questions, along with “Can I trust Him?” -Satan is on earth. -Satan is not currently in hell. He is on earth. Someday he will face eternal judgment there, but right now he is on earth. -Satan is not everywhere on earth. He is not omnipresent. He has likely never been anywhere near you. -Make no mistake, you can go to church and still worship satan. Anything you do that is not in faith toward God can be worshipful toward him. -Disney and Marvel and Harry Potter are printing money off the reality of the biblical narrative that we live in: a battle between good and evil. -Can angels still sin? They have thousands and thousands of years of knowledge and wisdom and revelation that following God is the way to go. -Satan is a liar. -Satan’s main lie is “God is not good and you cannot trust Him.” -Satan calls what is evil good and what is good evil. -Satan and demons can’t read our minds, but they’ve studied humans for thousands of years and know how to trick and deceive us. -A common strategy satan uses in 2022 is that you should find “your truth”. There are not multiple versions of truth. There is the Truth, and His name is Jesus. -The Gospel is the greatest Truth you will ever encounter, and once you know and believe the Gospel, the next is that God’s Word is true and can be trusted. -We are all part of a supernatural narrative where God is rescuing people from satan through His Son, Jesus. - MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: Ezekiel 28:12-19; Isaiah 14:12-14; Luke 10:18; Ezekiel 28:18; John 8:44; John 14:6; 1 John 4:4
Mar 27, 2022
SUMMARY What are you committed to in life? Work, kids, material possessions, money, friendships, family? Are you overcommitted to any of them? As we finish our series, Life Together, Trent Horner teaches the third value of community, committed, by studying Romans 12:9-18. KEY TAKEAWAYS -The first two community core values are authentic and biblical. Go back and watch those sermons if you missed them. -If you are an informed sports fan but you don’t know God’s Word, that’s a problem. -A commitment to community is based on love. -In order to love others you must be a student of them and learn what’s important to them. -Do you know the the story of the people you are in life group with? Their fears, insecurities, past, goals, dreams? -Go make a memory and have fun with your life group. Be intentional about creating unique shared experiences. -A commitment to community is a test of endurance. -As christians, we are always on mission and at war. Always. -The closest and most meaningful relationships are often just that because they’ve stood the test of time. -What if you approached your life group with a long distance, marathon mentality? -You will encounter conflict and difficulty along the way. If you don’t acknowledge and embrace this reality, you won’t make it in a life group. -When you encounter difficulty, share, practice hospitality, and be present with one another. -A commitment to community is a fight for unity. -We are prone to division and if we don’t proactively fight against it it will take us out. -If you want to change your life group, draw a circle around yourself and fix everything inside the circle. -As christians, we don’t judge obedience by the outcome. We strive to be faithful no matter the results. -Our greatest disappointments come from unspoken or unmet expectations. Share and discuss your expectations with one another. -We don’t want you to check a bunch of boxes as it relates to being in a life group; we want you to follow Jesus and become more like Him, and one of the best ways we know how to do that is to encourage you to do life with other people in a life group. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: Romans 12:9-18; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 22:37-39; John 13:35; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Peter 5:8 -Sermon: Biblical -Sermon series: Conflicted
Mar 20, 2022
SUMMARY Where do you find community: work, fitness, sports, kids activities, church…where is it for you? What characteristics mark that group of people? As we continue our series, Life Together, Jon Green teaches through 2 Timothy 3:14-17, teaching our second building block of community: biblical. KEY TAKEAWAYS -All Scripture is God-breathed. -Theology simply means “what you believe about God”. -Does everyone in your life group elevate Scripture in the same way? -Every time you read Scripture, ask God, “What do you want me to learn today?” -Observation: What do I see? -Interpretation: What does it mean? -Application: How does it work? What do I do? -All Scripture is useful. -Are you teaching each other using Scripture? -Rebuking: calling or pointing out sin based on Scripture. Correcting: giving a solution based on Scripture. -Training in righteousness can look like processing decisions based on Scripture (“Hey group, I’m thinking about _____, what do you guys think God and Scripture would have me do?”) vs. reporting decisions after the fact (“Hey guys, FYI, last week I did _____.”) -You can get well-intentioned yet horrific advice. If advice doesn’t align with Scripture, it’s bad advice. -In general, the more you want something the less you should trust yourself. -All Scripture prepares us. -If you think your knowledge of Scripture is for you, you have missed the point. The goal it to take what you learn and build up other people around you. -You will be a better disciple of Jesus if the people around you are reading their Bibles. -It will take time and effort to learn the Bible better, and that is OK. Start where you are today, and commit to growing 24-hours at a time. -When people in your group give counsel ask them to back it up with Scripture. -If you want to grow in your consistency of reading the Bible, you need three things: a time, a place, and a plan. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Proverbs 11:14 -Sermon: Authentic Community -Resource: Bible Reading Plan (www.biblereadingplan.org)
Mar 13, 2022
Authentic Community
SUMMARY Have you ever collected or owned something that you thought was valuable, only to later realize it was inauthentic and fake? As we start our new series, Life Together, Scott Kedersha teaches our first building block of community: authentic. KEY TAKEAWAYS -The bigger we become as a church, the smaller we must become so that everyone can be known and cared for. We do this through life groups. -To be authentic means to be real, genuine. To be who you say you are. -John repeats the idea that “Jesus is the light” all throughout his teaching. Without Jesus, we won’t see things on this earth clearly. He is the light we need to see things as they really are. -Authenticity starts by addressing our sin. -God hates when we minimize our sin. -Authenticity is necessary for fellowship. -These three words & questions are a great way to build authenticity in your life group: 1) Input - How are you feeding your soul? 2) Output - How are you feeding others? 3) Confession - How have you fed your flesh? -Going to life group and not confessing your sin and not being authentic is a terrible hobby and use of time. -Authenticity is necessary for forgiveness. -Is there a part of your life that you don’t want other people to see? Bring it into the light! -How to confess: Confess early. Confess at the thought level. Confess at the temptation level before it even becomes sin. -How to confess: Confess often. Confess everything you don’t want others to know. -How to confess: Confess in detail. Share 100%, not 98%. -The 30-seconds after someone confesses are extremely important. Your response to their confession will dictate whether they share more or they hide. Thank them, listen to them, ask them questions, pray for them. -What are you keeping from others? What are you hiding? What are you afraid to share? -The goal is not to be the most authentic person in the room. The goal is to become more like Jesus. RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Scripture to study: 1 John 1:5-10; John 8:12, 9:5, 12:46; Proverbs 29:25; Romans 8:1; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13 -Sermon: Authentic (sermon series: Fresh Start)
Mar 06, 2022
SUMMARY What do you want right now? In this moment as you read this, if you could have anything in the world, what do you want? As we finish our sermon series, 7 Deadly Sins of Suburbia, JP teaches about indulgence by studying 1 John 2:15-17. KEY TAKEAWAYS -What do you turn to when you are stressed? -What you want shows who you love. -We love stuff and use people to get more stuff. This couldn’t be further from what the Bible teaches. -A biblical worldview teaches us to use stuff to love people. -You can either love the world or you can love God. You can not have or love both. -You will either be full from the things of God and able to resist the world, or, you will be full from the things of this world and will resist the things of God. -Wickedness comes from wanting worldly things. -Satan is the little g god of this world. His one desire is to drag you out of a right relationship with God, and he uses the things of this world. -What marks you? If those closest to you got asked about what’s important to you, what would they say? -“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” -C.S. Lewis -Walking in the will of God is living for another world. -As you walk with God, your wants and desires will align with His. -Parenting is teaching kids what to do with their wants as well as teaching them what to want. Christianity is no different. -If you take sin it will take you. RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Scripture to study: 1 John 2:15-17; Matthew 6:24; James 4:4; Philippians 3:18-20; Genesis 3:6; James 1:14-15; Psalm 37:4; Romans 12:2 -Sermon: Anger from Unforgiveness
Feb 27, 2022
Anger From Unforgiveness
Feb 20, 2022
SUMMARY Have you ever talked about someone who wasn’t present? Have you ever found out people talked about you when you weren’t present? As we continue our series, 7 Deadly Sins of Suburbia, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches about gossip by teaching through the book of Proverbs. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Gossip is sharing unhelpful or unnecessary information about someone who isn’t present. -Gossip is in the same list of sins as murder and hating God. -Gossip is enjoyable. -TMZ made $126 million in 2021…they’ve literally made an industry out of gossip. -Neuroscience has shown that the reward center of our brain lights up in response to gossip in a similar way as it does to romantic interest or eating chocolate. -We enjoy gossip because it makes us feel better than others. -Gossip also makes us feel important because someone trusts us to tell us something. -When someone gossips to you, they are really saying, “I’m OK talking about people behind their back.” -We enjoy gossip because it’s easy. It’s a lot harder to ask intentional questions of others or share specific struggles in your own life. -Gossip is divisive. -As adults it’s easy to see gossip in middle and high schoolers, but the reality is, it’s rampant and divisive in adults too. -It’s been said that gossip is the devil’s telephone. -God hates gossip because He loves you. -Before being crucified, Jesus prayed specifically for us, today, that we would be perfectly unified with other Christians the way He and the Father are perfectly unified. -Gossip can be put out. -The only way a fire can continue is by adding fuel. The same is true of gossip. Are you adding fuel or putting it out? -Even if you don’t share gossip, you have a part to play when you listen or permit it to happen. -We talk to people not about people. -On Harris Creek staff, we practice the “24-hour rule.” If someone says something to you about someone else, you give that person 24-hours to go tell the person they gossiped about, and if they don’t, you go with them to talk to the person together. -These phrases are almost never going to have helpful things behind them: “Don’t tell them I told you, but;” “This doesn’t leave this room;” & “Just between you and me.” -Venting is simply calling gossip by a different name. -If something doesn’t honor God or encourage others, just don’t say it. -If you are afraid your phone might record what you are saying about someone, don’t say it in the first place. -God hears every word you speak. Your words matter. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Proverbs 18:8, 16:28, 26:20; Romans 1:29-30; Genesis 3:4-5; John 17:20-23; Ephesians 4:29; Matthew 12:36-37 -Sermon: Comparison
Feb 13, 2022
SUMMARY Where in life are you prone to compare your life to others? What happens in your mind and heart when you compare to others? Is it helpful? Hurtful? As we continue our series, 7 Deadly Sins of Suburbia, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches us about the sin of comparison by studying Luke 18:9-14. KEY TAKEAWAYS -It’s been well said that comparison is the thief of all joy. -A parable is a story told in order to emphasize a single point of truth. -Comparison views life as a competition. -Some of you have an exhausting life because you are always comparing yourself to and competing with other people. -Where do you find your worth and value in life? Your salary? Social media likes and comments? How much playing time your kid gets? Your neighborhood? -If you really want to succeed and you can’t celebrate when other people succeed, you struggle with comparison. -The sin of comparison is not new or exclusive to Suburbia. It shows up as early as Genesis 4 when Cain kills Abel. There are many examples of comparison all throughout the Scriptures. -There are typically two different buckets of comparison: materialistic (“I want what they have”) and moralistic (“I’m better than they are”). -When you pray, who is the focus of your prayer? You or God? -Comparison crushes relationships. -When your life is a competition, it makes everyone else your competitor and you isolate yourself, both of which kill your relationships. -Comparison is killed by humility. -How do you become humble? Compare yourself to God. -When you compare yourself to a righteous, holy, & perfect God, there is no other option than to be humble before Him. -Your job isn’t to compare to other people or Christians. Your job is to pick up your cross and follow Jesus every day. -If you are too busy focusing on someone else’s life you won’t be able to live your own life. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: Luke 18:9-14; Exodus 20:17; Genesis 4; Luke 9:46; Isaiah 6:5; Hebrews 10:14-18; John 21:17-25 -Sermon: Apathy
Feb 06, 2022
SUMMARY Have you ever received a medical diagnosis saying you’d get worse if you don’t make changes? What about other areas of your life…things aren’t going well and they’ll only get worse if something doesn’t change? As we continue our series, 7 Deadly Sins of Suburbia, JP teaches us about apathy by studying Hebrews 5 & 6. KEY TAKEAWAYS -People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated. -D.A. Carson -The church will be at the height of its heresy when you call obedience legalism. -AW Tozer -If you go through life doing only what you feel like, you will only grow dysfunctional. You will not grow as a disciple of Christ by only following your feelings. -You could get to heaven and live a completely spiritually impotent life while on earth. -So many Christians are not living the Christian life. They are not a threat to the enemy, and they are simply drifting toward death. -The Bible teaches the exact opposite of apathy and comfort. It teaches to embrace hardships and challenges and discipline. -Apathy: A resistance to spiritual growth. -No Christian is exempt from living out the call of 2 Timothy 2:2: The things you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful people who will teach others also. -We fight apathy by growing as a healthy disciple. -Disciples make other disciples, and all Christians are disciples. A “disciple making disciple” is redundant. -May we never be a people that is more American than we are Christian. -You don’t go to the gym to be entertained, you go to workout (to change). Similarly, you don’t go to church to be entertained, you go to be changed. To become more like Jesus. -We fight apathy with a steady diet of God’s Word. -At some point, Christians must outgrow a diet of only devotionals. They must learn to read and study the Bible on their own. -If reading your Bible is hard, that doesn’t make it wrong or bad. Going to the gym is also hard…you go to grow, and you only grow when it’s hard. -If you take pictures of a tree one year apart, you won’t see much of a difference. If you take pictures of a tree 20-years apart, there will be a huge difference. Mostly, in a way you can’t even see: deep, strong roots that are the foundation and strength of the tree and it’s growth. -There has never been a person of faith—let alone great faith—who doesn’t pray. -We fight apathy by exercising our faith. -As you exercise your faith, sin will become more and more repulsive to you. You won’t stop sinning on this side of death, but it will become less attractive. -We don’t work for our salvation, we work from our salvation. -If you drift toward apathy, one of two things will be true: you will die and go to hell (you were never a Christian to begin with), or, you will get to the end of your life and realize you completely wasted if. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: Hebrews 5:11-6:8; 1 Timothy 4:7-8; 2 Timothy 2:2 -Sermon: Entitlement
Jan 30, 2022
SUMMARY Has there ever been a time in your life when you were frustrated or complained because something didn’t make sense to you? Because you didn’t get what you wanted? As we continue our series, 7 Deadly Sins of Suburbia, JP teaches us about the sin of entitlement by studying Luke 14:1-14. KEY TAKEAWAYS -What are things we feel entitled to? Comfort, health, time, food, money, safety, salvation, love…what is it for you? -Want to know a sure fire way to know what you feel entitled to? What do you complain about? Whatever you complain about, that’s what you are entitled about. -Don’t fall victim to a counterfeit version of Christianity and be OK with it. -Should Christians ever take the best seat? -Entitlement is focusing on what you deserve. -As Christians, we are to use whatever God has entrusted us with to serve others. -Discomfort kills entitlement. There is no comfortable solution to entitlement. -Entitlement is the air we breathe. It impacts everything about us. -For entitled people, it rarely feels like things are going their way. -Entitlement leads to disappointment. -Every disappointment you’ve ever experienced comes from your expectations. -Entitled people are perpetually frustrated. -You cannot be thankful for what you feel entitled to. -Christians in America have a lot to be thankful for, and on the whole, we are terrible at being grateful for most of it. -Want to grow in gratitude? Ask God to take away anything you aren’t grateful for. -Grateful people always win. Entitled people always lose. -We change entitlement by changing our perspective. -What is your role in “the party” that is life? The host, or the guest? Make no mistake, as a Christian, it’s always the host. -We are masters at manipulating the rules or the system in our favor. -The Christian (or biblical) worldview says life on this world is a limited amount of time to serve as many people as you can serve before spending forever in heaven with God. -All we actually deserve is hell. However, an infinitely good God gave us everything we need to be with Him through Christ. -If something is true, even if no one around you lives or acts like it, it is still true. -The gospel kills entitlement. -Practicing gratitude kills entitlement. -Ask people near you this week: am I a grateful person? Does gratitude mark my life? -Ask God what you are entitled to. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: Luke 14:7-14; Philippians 2:3; 1 Peter 5:5; James 4:10; Luke 13:30; Mark 10:45; Philippians 2:6-8 -Sermon: Busyness
Jan 23, 2022
Q&A With Jonathan Pokluda
Jan 16, 2022
SUMMARY Do you ever feel like your life is busy? What causes it to be that way? As we start a new series, The Seven Sins of Suburbia, JP addresses the sin of busyness by examining Mary and Martha in Luke 10. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Busyness is the enemy of encouragement. -What all could you put in the blank: Busyness is the enemy of ________. -Here’s a secret: you will always have a lot to do. There will always be more to do than you have time for. -How much do you like yourself and your life when you are busy? -Jesus had friends. Have you ever considered that? -Minister or ministry simply means to render aid to those in need. All Christian’s, regardless of where they work and get a paycheck, are called to ministry. -Busyness is the enemy of focus. -What is the work that only you can do? What are the things that only you can do? -Don’t let the many things distract you from the one thing. -You are the only one who is in charge of your relationship with Jesus. -Busyness breeds a victim mentality. You are either for me or against me when I’m busy. -Busyness is the enemy of empathy. -People become distractions to your list of things to do when you are busy. -Nobody cares how busy you are. No one. -This is not an admonition to single moms. If you are a single mom, we are here for you! Let us know how we can help and serve you. -The world will not crumble if you slow down and stop. -Busyness is the enemy of peace and joy. -The greatest antidote to “What if…” is to answer the question. -If busy frustrates you, you have set yourself up for a life of frustration. -When something comes at you that you didn’t expect, margin is a great thing. But more than margin, prioritization will help you more. -There are things that won’t get done. Choose them carefully. -“I have so much to do today that I will spend three hours in prayer in order to get it all done.” -Martin Luther -If you want to see your kids go to an Ivy League school or play professional sports, but you don’t disciple them or teach them the Bible, that is a really, really bad trade. -What you say no to will tell other people what is most important to you. People will remember what you say no to. -Three of the big rocks we want you to prioritize at Harris Creek are attending corporate worship, serving, and meeting consistently with your Life Group. -What are your personal big rocks? Your non-negotiables in life? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: Luke 10:38-42
Jan 09, 2022
God's Process of Renewal
SUMMARY Do you have anything that you’ve taken with you from year to year and life stage to life stage? What about from 2021 to 2022…what have you brought with you from one year to the next? As we kick of a new calendar year, Scott Kedersha teaches us how Christians change and grow, teaching through Ephesians 4:17-24. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Stop walking like a non-believer. -Where in your life are you living like a non-believer? Confess this to your life group and ask them to help you change. -Do you know about Jesus, or do you know Jesus? -Is your life marked by a trajectory that looks more and more like Jesus? -Put off the old. -Don’t just make small changes here and there. Completely forsake and repent from anything in your life that doesn’t look like Jesus. -What do you need to put off: pride, greed, lust, grumbling, gossip, selfishness, something else? -To be abundantly clear, putting off your old self isn’t about behavior management or modification. It’s not about earning God’s favor. It’s about responding to the truth of the gospel. -Renew your mind. -The way you think determines how you live. -What do you feed your mind with? -Put on the new. -What do you need to put on: humility, generosity, self-control, gratitude, encouragement, service? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: Ephesians 4:17-24, 2:1, 5:2, 5:8, 5:15; Hebrews 12:1-2; Philippians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Romans 12:2; Colossians 3:12-14 -Ministry: re:generation. Learn more by going to harriscreek.org/events. -Resource: biblereadingplan.org
Jan 02, 2022
God's Promise to You
Dec 24, 2021
God's Promise To Mary
SUMMARY When things disrupt your life, how are you prone to respond? What comes out of you when you are squeezed? As we continue our series, a Critical Christmas, Rich Bartel teaches us about the story of Mary and how she responded when God disrupted her life. KEY TAKEAWAYS -When God comes in and disrupts your life, how do you respond? -Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a simple, ordinary woman in need of a savior just like us. -Humility isn’t self-denigration, but rather an honest self-appraisal. -Mary responds with humility. -Mary acknowledged who her Master was and she humbly and gladly responded to His plan for her life. -Mary was submitted to God’s Word. -Mary embodied the truths Scripture calls us to live by. -You will never meet a mature, kind, discerning, wise, and loving Christian who hasn’t spent time reading, knowing, and meditating on God’s Word. -Mary responds with worship. -Life isn’t a matter of trying to not be shaken, but rather, what comes out of you when you are shaken. -Make no mistake: if you are a Christian, God will disrupt your life. How will you respond when He does? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: Luke 1:28-56; Psalm 34:2; Isaiah 45:21; 1 Samuel 1:11; Psalm 126:3; Psalm 111:9 -Sermon: God’s Promise to Zechariah
Dec 19, 2021
God's Promise to Zechariah
SUMMARY Have you ever been let down before? Had someone say they’d do something and then they didn’t do it? As we start a new sermon series, a Critical Christmas, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches through Luke 1:10-20 and examines the story of Zechariah, answering the question of whether or not God can be trusted. KEY TAKEAWAYS -God makes promises to His people. -God often talks about what He will do in the future, which requires a specific response from us: faith. -What circumstance causes you to doubt and question God the most? -God’s people often question God’s promises. -Do you struggle to trust God with your future because you’ve forgotten what He’s done in the past because you are so consumed with your present circumstances? -God fulfills His promises. -This is how we often question God: “How because I am _______?” -The answer to Moses’ and Zechariah’s question is the same answer to our questions: God is. He is who He says He is. -God does what He promises. -There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament that come true during Jesus’ time on earth. Multiple of which were completely out of His control. -We have more in common with Zechariah than we think. -As Christians, we are waiting for Christ to return. Are you ready for it? -The story of Christmas tells us that God can be trusted. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: Luke 1:10-20; Malachi 4:5-6; Philippians 4:19; John 4:14, 14:2-3; Hebrews 11:1; Genesis 17:15-17; Exodus 3:11-14; Revelation 19:6-9
Dec 12, 2021
2021 Year in Review
SUMMARY Have you ever crossed the finish line in a race before? Or, what about crossing a starting line to begin a race? As 2021 comes to a close, JP looks back as we cross one finish line and looks ahead to what God has in store as we start a new race in the days ahead. KEY TAKEAWAYS -We refuse to make “the deal” with you: show up, pay up, and sit quietly as we entertain you and don’t ask too much of you. -We are committed to complete transparency with you. We will err on the side of telling you too much too soon. -We try every week to tear down the proverbial curtain between church members and church staff. We are a kingdom of priests, each and every one of us (not just the church staff). -At the end of 2018, we refinanced the loan on our property. It was a $6.1 million loan. We had a goal of raising $7 million in 7-years. -On average, we take in 25% of our annual budget in the month of December. -As of Wednesday, December 1, 2021, we are debt free! -We are committed to putting to death perception management. It’s one of the great evils within the church, and especially in America. -In 2021, 43% of covenant members gave to the mission of Harris Creek. -Your spiritual growth and your generosity will be aligned. -In 2021, 1 in 10 undergraduate students at Baylor were in a Harris Creek Life Group. -The Becoming Something podcast was listened to over 1.5 million times in 2021. -161 people were baptized in 2021. -As we finish our journey of paying off our debt, we are ready to begin a new journey. Debt is not sinful, but it is limiting. -There are 1,181 kids in the foster system in McLennan county. This is symptomatic of the church not being the church. -We are going to build a house to help house foster children who are sleeping in CPS offices. -In the days ahead we want to plant churches, reach the nations, and continue helping everyone follow Jesus by engaging the lost, equipping the saints, and empowering members for service. -We simply want to make disciples. That’s it. -Let’s not make the mistake by forsaking our first love like Ephesus did. Let’s finish well. Let’s pray God would increase our faith and that we’d love Him more at the end of today than we did when we woke up. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: Romans 14:23; 2 Corinthians 9:7; Acts 5:1-11; Ephesians 3:14-21; Matthew 6:33; Revelation 2:1-5
Dec 05, 2021
The End of the Search
SUMMARY What does it mean to fear God? Christians are commanded to do so all throughout the Scriptures. As we finish our series studying the book of Ecclesiastes, JP teaches us what it means to fear God. KEY TAKEAWAYS -We are all moving toward death. You are older now than when you read the sentence before this. -Fear and follow God before your body fails. -You can and should take care of your body, but you are going to die. -Form your theology before your decline. -Don’t buy into a false theology that God is not loving and kind because we are commanded to fear Him. -Read other books, but only in addition to the Bible, not as a supplement to the Bible. -Fear and follow God by holding firmly to His Word. -There are so many distractions in this world that the enemy uses to pull you off track. -Your quiet time is not a means to please God. It’s a method of survival to fight against an enemy that is seeking to steal, kill, and destroy you. -If you are not regularly reading the Bible you are backsliding. -Why would God make known to us His mysterious will when we are clearly disobeying and overlooking His revealed will? -Fearing God and following Him means living by faith. -Is your life marked by acts of faith? Things you did that if God didn’t show up you’d be considered foolish and a failure? -Every sin you’ve ever committed is against God. -If someone can come back from the dead after being tortured and crucified, you should fear them. If they were tortured and killed and came back from the dead for you, you should follow them. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Ecclesiastes 12; Matthew 10:26-31; 1 Kings 11:1-6 -Sermon: Wisdom in Words, Work, and Worship -Resource: www.biblereadingplan.org
Nov 28, 2021
Wisdom in Words, Work, and Worship
SUMMARY While toddlers can be really funny with their actions and words, there is a big difference when adults do and say similar things. As we continue studying the book of Ecclesiastes, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches us what Scripture has to say about our words, work, and worship. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Here are some descriptions of the tongue in Scripture: snake, fire, sword, world of evil, and full of deadly poison. -Are you thoughtful with your words? -The wise are slow with their words. -Your tongue can eat you alive if you aren’t careful and thoughtful with your words. -Your words always matter, and they matter even more when it comes to your family. -You are never “safe” when it comes to speaking words that aren’t wise or gracious. -The wise work hard no matter what while the foolish work based on how they feel. -The wise are steadfast in their work. -Many of our problems with work are because we let our feelings guide our work. -Your laziness steals from yourself, and at times, it might even be stealing from your company. -Don’t work so hard to provide for your family at the expense of your family. -The world is not out of control, but it is out of your control. God is fully in control. -The more you try to control the more you will worry and fear. -The wise are surrendered in worship. -When you have a right view of God you can worship instead of worry. -It will not go well with you when your life is centered around yourself. -Do your words, work, and worship look like that of an adult or a child? -While children are often foolish, they have the one thing necessary to come to Jesus: need. -Don’t try to clean up your mess before you come to God. Come to Him as you are and let Him clean you up. -The only people who get into the Kingdom of God are the ones that know they shouldn’t. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Ecclesiastes 10:11-14; James 1:19; Ecclesiastes 10:20; Ecclesiastes 11:1-6; Colossians 3:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-8; Ecclesiastes 10:15; Ecclesiastes 11:5, 3:11, 8:7, 8:17, 9:12, 10:14; Matthew 19:13-14 -Sermon: Live Like You’re Dying
Nov 21, 2021
Live Like You're Dying
SUMMARY Do you have a bucket list? What do you want to do before you die? It could be anything at all. As we continue studying the book of Ecclesiastes, JP shows us that God has a bucket list prepared for each of us and that we should live like we are dying (and will live forever). KEY TAKEAWAYS -We do not know what tomorrow will bring. -Mortality causes us to be reflective. -Weddings are fun and celebratory, but everyone is distracted. At a funeral, the focus is crystal clear and you have everyone’s attention. -Remember death awaits us all. -In America in 2021, we are bad at death. We’ve outsourced it in a way that is completely foreign to other cultures and all of history. -You do not know how much time you have left. -It is really hard and sad when death strikes. We mourn because we were made to live forever. Death was not present in Eden before the Fall and it’s not in heaven either. -Find joy in living. -God does not want to rip you off. He is a good God, and He loves giving good things. -What do you enjoy doing? Can you do it to the glory of God? (doing something in faith and without sin). Go do more of those things! -Learn to enjoy serving others. -Do you use your words flippantly or thoughtfully? -You can be wise and live prudently, but even then, you don’t know what life has in store. Before Jesus returns, pain and death will come to the wisest people at times. -Live with wisdom. -Live a life not for God’s approval but from God’s approval. -We don’t have to experience all this earth has to offer before we die because we will have forever and ever and ever to experience this earth in its glorified form. -Don’t wait to live like you are dying. Surround yourself with Scripture, share the gospel with every person you meet, and give as generously as you can. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Ecclesiastes 9; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 3:19; Psalm 111:10; 2 Corinthians 5:19 -Sermon: Submitting to Authority
Nov 14, 2021
Submitting to Authority
SUMMARY Have you ever been in a position where an authority figure was telling or asking you to do something you didn’t want to do? As believers in Jesus, what should our response to authority be? As we continue studying the book of Ecclesiastes, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches us what our posture and response to authority should look like. KEY TAKEAWAYS -We are called to submit to those in authority. -As Christians, we should begin our approach to authority with humility, not hostility. -Christians should be a joy to lead. Are you a joy to lead? -If you don’t respect those in authority over you, that says more about your heart than it does their leadership. -If you want to submit to God’s Word, you have to start by submitting to those in authority. -Human authority will be unfair. -Who do you fear more? Politicians, your boss, or the King of Kings? -Believers should gladly follow authority unless the authority is asking you to sin or go against God’s Word. -When you resist authority that is asking you to go against God, you need to do so while walking by the Spirit and modeling the fruit of the Spirit. -The bar to resisting authority that is outlined in Scripture is a lot higher than we typically wish it were. -God’s authority will seem unfair. -God allowed Jesus to experience the most unfair thing in the history of the world in order to save you. -Jesus said and did things that didn’t make sense to those around Him. -As followers of Jesus, if He says so, we must trust and follow. -Are you a joy to be led by Jesus? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Ecclesiastes 8; Romans 13:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-14; John 6:60-66; Luke 5:3-5 -Sermon: A Wise Perspective in Problems
Nov 07, 2021
A Wise Perspective in Problems
SUMMARY When was the last time you had a bad day? What made it a bad day? As we continue our series studying the book of Ecclesiastes, JP teaches through chapter 7, showing us a biblical response to the pain and problems of life. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Do you view life’s problems as something to be avoided or something to embrace and learn from? -Younger people are desperate to learn from older people. -Don’t forget your mortality. You are here for just a moment and then your life will be over. -You get to choose who you learn from. Who are the people you are going to for advice? Just because someone is popular or famous doesn’t mean they are wise. -Learn from pain before you leave it. -When something is uncomfortable God often wants to teach you something. -21st century western culture moves too fast to learn from pain and discomfort. -Sometimes pain will be your best instructor in life. -It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Don’t quit after the honeymoon period of something new and fun. -As a follower of Jesus Christ, your hope will always be in front of you. -Money can’t prolong your life but wisdom can. -Be patient in problems before you’re provoked. -There will be moments in your life when you are provoked and you need to prepare for those moments now. Pray that you’d take a deep breath, ask for wisdom, and respond accordingly. -If you need wisdom, go to your GPS: Gather your Group, Persist in Prayer, Search the Scriptures. -You. Are. Not. God. God is God. Let God be God. -There are good days and there are bad days, but they are all God’s days. He is sovereign over all of them. -Surrender to God’s sovereignty in bad situations. -Sometimes it’s good to be small. -Life is a roller coaster. There will be ups and downs. Do your best to enjoy the ride, and don’t question God or rebel or be a fool during the downs. -Without Jesus, everything you do is meaningless. Literally everything. -Sometimes things under the sun are really hard…don’t be quick to avoid or run from them. Let them teach you to turn to God and become more intimate with Him. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Ecclesiastes 7; Proverbs 12:1; James 1:19; Philippians 3:13-4; 2 Samuel 12:20-23 -Sermon: The Curse and Blessing of Money -Sermon: GPS
Oct 31, 2021
The Curse and Blessing of Wealth
SUMMARY Have you ever wanted to buy something that you didn’t have enough money for? Or, have you ever been able to buy something that you really wanted? What did you feel like in both of those situations? As we continue our series studying the book of Ecclesiastes, JP teaches through chapter 5, showing us a biblical perspective on wealth and what it can do to us. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Jesus had more to say about money than any other topic other than the kingdom of God. -Why is it that it’s easier to give away $1 when you have $10 than $1,000,000 when you have $10,000,000? -How much money is enough for you? What number do you need to make each year? -Wealth can be a curse. -Simply put, wealth can complicate your life. -Wealth can be a curse to your satisfaction. When you feed greed, it grows. -If you are a Christian, being rich only comes with a high amount of responsibility. -Wealth can curse your relationships. Are people your friend because of your money? -Wealth can curse your sleep. You can have all the money in the world and not be able to turn off your mind and sleep. -Wealth can be a curse to death. Many families have been torn apart because of wealth inherited after a death. -Wealth can be a curse to your sanity. You can have a lot of money and lose your mind or your memory. -Desiring to be wealthy and thinking it will make us better and happier is a lesson that most all of us can’t seem to learn. -Wealth in an of itself is not bad. Every good and perfect gift is from God above. -While Scripture doesn’t teach that poverty equates with godliness, most of us blow past the warning signs it teaches about wealth and prosperity. -God can make wealth a blessing. -Is Jesus enough for you? When you are hurt, hungry, alone, persecuted, or poor, is Jesus enough? -The rich are better than the poor because while the poor think money will make them happier the rich know better. Those who are content are infinitely better than both. -There are four categories of wealth in the Scripture: rich, poor, righteous rich, & righteous poor. Which are you? -God has solicited and trusted you to play the role of His financial advisor. How are you doing at stewarding what He has given you? -When deciding how to steward money, pray and consult your life group. If those feel like constraints and you are a Christian, they are the path to freedom. Constraints equal freedom for Christians. -Don’t waste your wealth under the sun. -You can’t take your money with you, but you can send it ahead and have it to your credit when you get there. -Invest your wealth beyond the sun. -The essence of having something in storage means you don’t need it. -Read Matthew 6:19-21 in the next week and pray about what it looks like for you to obediently apply it in your life. -Where do you need to change your perspective on wealth to align it with God’s perspective? -Christians—based on God’s love and generosity—should be the most generous people on the planet. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Ecclesiastes 5; 1 Timothy 6:9-10; Philippians 4:11-13; Matthew 6:19-21 -Sermon: Better Together and Awful Alone.
Oct 24, 2021
Better Together and Awful Alone
SUMMARY Have you ever been in a situation where you were in a bad spot and you were alone? How would it have been different if someone else was with you? As we continue our series studying the book of Ecclesiastes, JP teaches us the importance of doing life with other people and not being alone. KEY TAKEAWAYS -You were not designed or created to be alone. -Life is better together and awful alone. -It’s better to be alone in a cemetery than alone and alive. -What keeps you isolated? -Envy and comparing yourself to others will keep you isolated. -When we assess how we are doing in life, we are almost always comparing and measuring ourselves against someone else. Your contentment is based on being better or having more than them. -The essence of laziness is selfishness. -The most self-absorbed person is the farthest from God. -The person who is most isolated is closest to Satan…they are the easiest to pick off and defeat. -Greed will keep you in isolation. -Many people have provided for their family at the expense of their family. -Ty Cobb is arguably one of the greatest, if not the greatest baseball player of all time. On his deathbed, he said he wished he had more friends. Only 3 friends showed up to his funeral. Ty Cobb won at baseball but he lost at life. -The truth is, if you want something bad enough and have enough drive you can probably get it, but make no mistake…it will cost you. Make sure you are pursuing the right things. -What are the benefits of friends? -You can do more and be more productive with others. -The law of synergy shows that when two are together they can accomplish a multiplier of what each could accomplish alone. -To receive (or give) care in life implies that someone else is there. -Idiosyncrasies grow in isolation. -Comfort and strength are both benefits of friendship. -The vast majority of pastoral care emails and messages are from people who are not in community or doing life with close friends and family. They are usually alone. -If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together. -Some people grow so smart they are not teachable. Don’t be one of them! -The loneliest place is leadership. -Leaders and politicians are miserable saviors. -The loneliest place in all of history was Jesus being crucified on the cross. And yet, He did it for us. God used that moment to save us. -If you have an area of your life that you don’t want to let others into, you are inviting the devil into that area of your life. -God paid a great price to defeat Satan and save you, but while you are on earth you are in a strange middle ground and not fully home yet. If you live isolated, you will get taken out. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Ecclesiastes 4; Genesis 2:18; Provers 6:10, 24:30-34 -Sermon: God Working in Time
Oct 17, 2021
God Working in Time
SUMMARY Have you ever run out of time when you were in the middle of something that wasn’t complete? Maybe a house project, something for work, or an important relationship? As we continue our series on the book of Ecclesiastes, JP teaches through Ecclesiastes 3, showing us how God works in time. KEY TAKEAWAYS -If what you have is not good, God is not done. -Every human being experiences both the ups and downs of life. There are no exceptions. -We experience life in time and chronological order. God sits above and outside of time and sees everything. -There is a time for everything. -It’s bad theology to believe you won’t experience sickness, pain, hurt, poverty, or other bad things on this side of death. -God has put eternity in our hearts and nothing but Him will satisfy our cravings and desires. -God is in charge of everything. -The fear of the Lord means to fully stand in both fear and awe of the Lord at the same time. -We can know and understand a lot about God through His creation and His Word, but make no mistake, He won’t fully fit into our finite understanding. -When things aren’t going how you hoped or planned, ask yourself, “What is God up to right now? What does He want me to do or learn?” -Everyone wants God to take care of evil, but they want Him to start just past themselves. -God makes everything beautiful in its time. -God took the worst day in human history and turned it into the best day in human history. -Asking God, “How can you do this to me?” is the wrong question. The right question is, “How could you do that to You (Jesus) for me?” -God makes everything beautiful in its time. -For those who have trusted in Christ, one day we will see clearly and understand how the hardest thing we’ve ever been through was worth it. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Ecclesiastes 3; John 10:10; Romans 8:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Philippians 4:11-13 -Sermon: The Search Begins -Sermon: The Search Continues
Oct 10, 2021
The Search Continues
SUMMARY Where are you prone to look for meaning in life? Pleasure, projects, possessions, power, profession…what is it for you? As we continue studying the book of Ecclesiastes, JP teaches through chapter 2, showing us the only place to find true meaning. KEY TAKEAWAYS -The dumbest thing you could do is to live out the experiment Solomon did thinking you will get a different result. -Our pleasure apart from God is meaningless. -The only thing believers use alcohol for is fellowship. -Our projects apart from God are meaningless. -Your home, yard, landscaping, renovation, or any other project is futile apart from the Lord. -Solomon made over $2,700,000 per day. He threw a party where he served 22,000 cows and 150,000 sheep. He owned 12,000 horses and had 30,000 employees. You will not have a glimpse of his possessions. -Our possessions apart from God are meaningless. -You could have something that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet don’t have. Today. -We all really want to be comfortable. To have enough where we can get to a place where we don’t have to worry. -Liberalism and conservatism will both leave you empty. Neither are the answer to life’s problems or meaning. -Our power apart from God is meaningless. -A wise man learns from their mistakes, but a wiser man learns from the mistakes of others. -The rich are infinitely better off than the poor because while the poor think money will bring them happiness the rich know better. -People who are wealthy enough to actually do what they want to do when they want to do it are on a fast track to sickness. -Our profession apart from God is meaningless. -There is no job in the world that will provide enough meaning to your life. -When you look at what you do with an eternal perspective everything can have meaning. -The essence of enjoying something is found in using it. When you take things and put them in light of eternity, they can be enjoyed to the glory of God. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Ecclesiastes 2; 1 Corinthians 10:31 -Sermon: The Search Begins
Oct 03, 2021
The Search Begins
Sep 26, 2021
Sep 19, 2021
SUMMARY Do you ever feel tired as you try to live out your Christian faith? What does living faithfully for Jesus over a long period of time entail? As we continue our series, Family Matters, JP teaches through Hebrews 12:1-4, showing us that the Christian life is a race and helping us understand what to expect as we run the race. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Just because you are tired doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing the Christian life wrong. You might be, but not necessarily. -Those who have gone before us in the faith from Hebrews 11 are witnessing—speaking—to us that it's worth it. -There are obstacles to the long run of faithfulness. -There are things in your life that aren't sin that hinder your faith. What are those things for you? Sports, fitness, your team, your job, shopping, social media, fishing…what is it for you? -Sin will literally weigh you down and affect you the longer you give yourself to it and hide it. -There is opposition in the long run of faithfulness. -There is no cruise control in Christianity. -The more you resist sin the more you are able to resist sin. -If you live your life by seeking out things that require little faith, you will continue to have little faith. On the contrary, when you pursue things that require more faith, your faith will grow. -When you persevere in the moment that you want to give up, you will get stronger. -People will ultimately always let you down. Jesus will never let you down. -Jesus is the object of our long run of faithfulness. -Grace both saves and sanctifies you. Only by the strength of the Holy Spirit and by daily surrendering your life can you live out good works in the Christian life. -The only way to make it through the Christian life is to preach the gospel to yourself every single day. -What are your eyes fixed on? What target are you aiming at? What race are you running? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Hebrews 12:1-4; Galatians 5:7; 2 Timothy 4:7; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 119:32; Romans 5:3; James 1:2-4; Galatians 3:3; Hebrews 11 -Sermon: Community
Sep 12, 2021
SUMMARY Have you ever had roommates before, or been in close proximity with other people for extended periods of time? What about living by yourself, or being alone for long periods of time? As we continue our series, Family Matters, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches us three characteristics of biblical community and the dangers of isolation by studying 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Doing life with other people can be hard, but isolation is even harder and more dangerous. -Biblical community identifies needs. -There are three types of Life Groups: starving, exhausted, and potluck. -Starving groups are hungry and show up looking for other people to feed them. Everyone hopes everyone else does what they aren’t willing to do (and no one does anything). -Exhausted groups are busy doing too much all the time. They are so busy feeding others that they themselves get exhausted and worn out. -Potluck groups are made up of people where everyone brings something. Sometimes it’s more and sometimes it’s less, but what’s important is that people come and come ready. -Are you willing to lovingly call your brother or sister out when they are being idle or disruptive? -Do you care more about what people will think about you if you lovingly confront them or what will happen to them if they stay on a path of disobedience? -Someone who is disheartened does not need a lecture, a bunch of knowledge, or a list of things to do. They need someone to kindly care for them. -Don’t underestimate the power of empathy. -Sympathy feels bad for someone, empathy feels bad with someone. -When someone is hurting and you don’t know what to do, just do something. Send a text, make a call, bring a meal…just do something. -Does your group need to do a better job of challenging each other or caring for each other? -Biblical community is selfless. -When you are on mission together, your needs and desires are the last thing on your mind. -There is a huge difference between a vacation mindset and a mission mindset. Church…we are on mission! There is an enemy who hates us and we are at war against him. -Are you seeking the good of those around you or the good of yourself? -Biblical community rejoices. -No other religion or ideology can claim continual joy, prayer, and gratitude. -Christian community doesn’t make sense without Christ and the reality that this world is not our home. -Do you spend more time in community talking about the things and problems of this world or about Jesus and being on mission for Him? -When you gather together, remind yourselves of the gospel. Every single time! MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18 -Sermon: Love
Sep 05, 2021
SUMMARY How do you know if someone is a Christian? Is it based on what they wear? How they talk? As we continue our series, Family Matters, JP teaches us how you can know if someone is a Christian by examining the Great Commandment in Matthew 22. KEY TAKEAWAYS -You are saved based on what you believe about the gospel. What you believe about Jesus Christ—who He is and what He did for you on the cross—is the only thing that impacts your salvation. -What you believe—if you really believe it—will impact how you behave. -One of the greatest offenses to God is claiming that you are a Christian and then living however you want with no regard to what God or His Word says. -When Jesus taught the Great Commandment, He was saying if you love God and love others, all the do’s and don’ts of the 613 laws in the Old Testament will take care of themselves. -Followers of Jesus are marked by love for God. -When you don’t feel God, you can still obey Him. He is the God of your emotions. -Love looks like obedience to God. Obedience to God leads to joy. -Joy is born out of a life of service to others. -What do you do that makes you love God more? Do more of those things! -Followers of Jesus are marked by love for others. -Loving your neighbor like yourself looks like putting their needs above your own. -When Jesus taught people to love their neighbor, He told a story about loving someone who all the listeners would have hated. -Love: inconveniencing yourself for the good of someone else. -Christians should treat everyone the way a loving mother treats her baby. Everyone. -When you villainize someone who disagrees with you on a topic, you have moved away from love. -Did you know that God has used global pandemics in the past to explode and grow Christianity all over the world? -Are people coming closer to Jesus based on how you are responding to the Covid pandemic? -Love is the Christian’s uniform. -It’s no accident that love is the first fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5. -People all around you are lost and looking to find their way. If you are a Christian, you have the answer and you know the way. -When is the last time you inconvenienced yourself for the good of someone else? Did something that is naturally difficult for yourself for their good? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Matthew 22:34-40; 1 John 5:3; John 15:9-13; Romans 5:8; John 13:34-35; -Sermon: Discipleship
Aug 29, 2021
SUMMARY Have you ever been discipled by someone? Have you ever discipled someone? As we start our new series, Family Matters, JP teaches us about discipleship…what it is and what it means for our lives today. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Discipleship: Spending time with people to help them follow Jesus. -How are you, in this season of your life, going to faithfully live out the Great Commission? -When the disciples doubted Jesus—even after he resurrected from the dead—He went to them. He pursued them. -The authority of Jesus assures us. -Do you spend more time following your own plans for your life or Jesus’ plan for your life? -The church is the most powerful force the world has ever seen. -The commission of Jesus compels us. -A command tells you what to do. A commission invites you into a mission with someone else. -How do you change the world? One word: discipleship. -Anytime you see maturity you should see immaturity. A mature church without any immature people is a dying church. -To make disciples, focus your life on following Jesus. -If you focus on everything you can “do” for Jesus, all of the “don’ts” in your life will take care of themselves. -Dying to yourself and hating your life in this world is the way Jesus gave us to experience eternal life. -A disciple of Jesus does everything they can to follow Jesus and help others follow Jesus. -One way—one of the main ways the Bible teaches—to experience closeness with Jesus is to suffer for Him. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Matthew 28:16-20; 2 Timothy 2:4; Matthew 16:13-20; John 12:24-26; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 2 Timothy 2:1-3
Aug 22, 2021
Elijah and the Gentle Whisper
SUMMARY Have you ever been in a situation where you are trying your absolute best but no matter what you do your efforts are in vain? Where you try your best and your best isn’t good enough? As we finish our series, BC, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches us about God’s presence in times of trouble as we study the life of Elijah in 1 Kings 19. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Oftentimes in life your greatest successes are followed by your greatest disappointments. -When life gets hard and you are tired, what do you run to? -God will give you more than you can handle. -Sometimes life is simply hard. Our trouble is not that we don’t love God and don’t have faith. It’s the reality that we currently live in a fallen world. -When God asks Elijah what he’s doing, Elijah answers about everyone else, but not himself. He focused on what everyone else isn’t doing rather than answering the Lord about what he was doing. -Our God is not simply powerful, but present. -God will be close in your discomfort. -Why do we feel closer to God in the pain? Why can we hear the whisper when life is hard but not other times? Because our lives are too busy and too loud. -We can establish disciplines of silence and solitude. Of slowing down. Disciplines of spending time with the Lord to hear Him all the time, and not just when life is hard. -God will restore your purpose. -How often are your greatest anxieties something that God has already taken care of? -You might not be getting attacked by the enemy because you are not out on mission against him…you are dwelling in a self-created cave. You are a cave dwelling Christian. -Close encounters with Jesus change everything. -You can’t have God’s power without His presence, and vice versa. He is a God of both. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: 1 Kings 19:1-18; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Psalm 34:18 -Sermon: Elijah and the One True God -Resource: www.biblereadingplan.org
Aug 08, 2021
Elijah and the One True God
SUMMARY Have you ever met someone who was consistent and faithful in most of their life but had an area of life that was confusing or disobedient? What about you? Where in your life are you justifying a behavior that simply doesn’t make sense? That’s sinful? As we continue our sermon series, BC, Scott Kedersha teaches us about false gods and the one true God by examining the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Decide who you are going to follow. -Do you act one way in some settings and another way in other settings? -God’s Word does not speak well toward those who are lukewarm in their faith toward God. -Christians who are inconsistent—who are hypocritical—are one of the greatest causes of atheism today. -A false god never delivers. -What false god are you prone to worship? The result of a college sports event? The engagement on a social media post? Your house, car, or income? What is it for you? -There is no binge apart from Jesus that will ever fill you up. -The true God always delivers. -God loves to stack the deck against Himself and then flex. -Any battle that involves God isn’t really a battle. -If the Lord is God, then follow Him. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: 1 Kings 18:16-39; Ephesians 4:29; Galatians 1:10; Revelation 3:15-16; Matthew 6:24; Psalm 115:4-8; Romans 5:8; -Sermon: Jacob and Wrestling with God
Aug 01, 2021
Jacob and Wrestling with God
SUMMARY Have you ever had an injury that caused you to walk with a limp? Experienced something in life that left a mark and changed you? As we continue our sermon series, BC, Drew Greenway teaches us about how wrestling with God gives us a new identity, intimacy, and humility as he examines the story of Jacob wrestling with God. KEY TAKEAWAYS -It’s through the valleys in life that we grow the most. -If you can worry about it you can pray about it. -Wrestling with God gives new identity. -It was when Jacob was finally alone that he experienced God’s presence. -We worship a God who is willing to get in the mess with us. -If your identity is in anything other than Christ, it is an idol. You are not your enneagram number, your sin struggle, or your accomplishments. -Wrestling with God gives intimacy. -Jacob’s encounter with God is the closest encounter with God in the entire Old Testament. -Have you ever felt like God was distant? -When you face hardship, you have two choices: run to God or run away from God. That’s it. -To gain intimacy with God you must give up control. -Wrestling with God gives humility. -Only in the Christian life does surrender bring victory. -God’s economy takes worldly wisdom and flips it on its head. -What does God want you to surrender? What is He asking you to relinquish control of? -Are you harboring bitterness toward someone? Are you running away from God? -God may leave you limping toward Heaven so you aren’t running toward hell. -Our wounds remind us of our identity in Christ. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Genesis 32:22-33:5; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Genesis 28:16; James 4:8; Psalm 34:18; Luke 17:33; Hebrews 11:21 -Ministry: re:generation on Monday nights at 6:30p -Sermon: Saul and the Dangers of Disobedience
Jul 25, 2021
Saul and the Dangers of Disobedience
SUMMARY Has there any been a time in life where you knew the rules and expectations but you broke them anyway? Where you disobeyed (no matter how small the offense)? As we continue our series, BC, Jon Green teaches us about the cost of disobedience by examining the downfall of King Saul. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Saul was the very first king of Israel. He was handsome, tall, and wealthy. He’s the type of guy everyone would want to follow. -Never fear (the) people more than God. -All 66 books of the Bible point to Jesus. The Bible is one story pointing to God’s redemption of fallen humanity through Christ. -If you were alone and enemies were coming toward you, what would you do? Would you take a shortcut and go against something you know God forbids? -The desire to be accepted and fit in is part of the human experience. However, God created us to find our acceptance in Him, not other people. -Where are you prone to find acceptance in people as opposed to God? -Never get ahead of God. -Are you numb to your sin? Today can be your day to confess and bring it into the light. -If we are in sin, we pin our sins on other people and normalize things that are against the ways of God. -Your feelings are real, but they are not always reliable. -If your feelings are the driving force behind your decisions you are going to experience hurt and disappointment in life. -There are plenty of commands throughout the Bible—both the Old and New Testament—we treat like suggestions and ignore. -Self-reliance is completely contradictory and opposed to the gospel. -Disobedience always comes at a cost. -Sin always had consequences. Always. -There is always a ripple effect to your sin. It never hurts or impacts just you. -You are only fooling yourself if you think you can get away with your sin. -God’s instructions aren’t to rob us of freedom. They are to give us discipline, which leads to freedom. -Don’t be someone who starts well and then falls. Trust Christ—every single day—and finish well as you trust in Him. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: 1 Samuel 13:5-15; 1 Samuel 12:14-15; Galatians 1:10; 1 Samuel 12:20-24; Romans 6:1-2; Philippians 2:3-11 -Sermon: David and Goliath
Jul 18, 2021
David and Goliath
SUMMARY Have you ever met someone who has great faith in something? What about you? Where in life are you most prone to put your faith? As we continue our series, BC, Rich Bartel teaches us about misplaced faith and properly placed faith by studying the story of David and Goliath. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Misplaced faith leads to arrogance. -Sometimes when we experience success we forget the grace of God and forget all the people who helped us along the way. -What’s the source of your arrogance? Where have you misplaced your faith? -Misplaced faith leads to fear. -What comes through the “what if Rolodex” of your mind when you lay down at night? -God is enough. Period. -What do you fear? Why? -David did what David had always done. He was a servant and a shepherd. Serving others, protecting his flock, and trusting in God, his Shepherd. -What is God asking you to do that requires great faith? -Faith placed in God always prevails. -David believed God when life brought obstacles his way. He knew God would prevail when circumstances suggested otherwise. -Where does your mind and heart go when you are faced with obstacles and challenges? -You are not David and you never will be. God doesn’t bring Goliath’s in your life, and He doesn’t ask you to channel your inner David. He asks you to trust in Christ. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: 1 Samuel 17; Proverbs 16:18; James 4:6; Acts 13:22; 2 Chronicles 16:9 -Sermon: Naaman and Elisha
Jul 11, 2021
Naaman and Elisha
SUMMARY Has there ever been a time in your life when the last thing you want to do is the very thing that will make you well? As we continue our series, BC, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches us the story of Naaman from 2 Kings 5. KEY TAKEAWAYS -A diagnosis removes distractions. -Throughout Scripture, sin is compared to and very like leprosy. They both start small, but they always grow and they always lead to death. -Sadly and too often, the diagnosis of sin in our lives doesn’t remove distractions. This shouldn’t be! -What diagnosis would be more distracting to you: leprosy or sin? -Pride prevents a cure. -How often do your disappointments and frustrations with God have to do with what you thought would happen not happening? -Our missed expectations lead to our biggest disappointments. -Make no mistake, pride will kill you. It’s far more deadly than leprosy. -Healing requires humility. -Submitting yourself to God’s commandments and ways when you don’t understand is often when He chooses to heal us. -To understand why, submit and apply. -Jesus is the cure we need. He alone. That’s it. -Admitting your brokenness and need for Jesus is the only thing you need to get to Him. All you need is need. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: 2 Kings 5:1-19; James 1:15; James 4:6 -Sermon: Daniel and the Lion’s Den
Jul 04, 2021
Daniel and the Lions Den
SUMMARY When was the last time your faith was tested? Have you seen someone be faithful in the midst of difficulty or persecution? As we continue our series, BC, Trent Horner teaches us about faithfulness by examining the story of Daniel and the lion’s den in Daniel 6. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Faithfulness stands out. -Daniel had a track record of faithfulness. He was loyal and consistent. -If someone were trying to dig up something against you, what would they find? How would they take you down? -Faithfulness stands firm. -When we are squeezed or pressed, what’s really inside comes out. -Where are you prone to not stand firm in your life? Where do you lack faithfulness? -Daniel’s decision about what to do when pressed was easy because the decision had already been made long before he was pressed. -What are you committed to in life? -If difficulty and persecution come your way, what will you do? -Daniel had a track record of faithfulness, and yet, he still got thrown into the lion’s den. -What are the things in your life that only make sense because you are a follower of Jesus? -Sin never gets the last laugh. -God’s faithfulness stands forever. -Are you living a life that is devoted and dedicated to faith? -Who is your community? Who are the people in your life that you practice the one another’s of Scripture with? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Daniel 6; Colossians 3:23; 1 John 1:7; Proverbs 3:5-6 -Sermon: Adam and Eve
Jun 27, 2021
Adam and Eve
SUMMARY Where have you become comfortable giving into temptation? Where have you normalized sin instead of resisting it? As we continue our series, BC, JP teaches us about the first ever temptation and sin. KEY TAKEAWAYS -“Did God really say?” is the first lie in the Bible. -The first act of legalism in the Bible happens in Genesis 3. -The consideration of sin is temptation. -Temptation causes you to question what God says. -Do you trust God? This is the question temptation always asks you. -Tests are external. Temptation happens between your ears. -Self love, self care, and the thought that you should be God are some of the most prevalent lies in our country today. -Beware of being under attack when you are hungry, tired, lonely, or discontent. You will be much more susceptible in those moments. -Satan’s offers are always counterfeit and always costly. -God’s Word is your greatest weapon against temptation. -Trust yourself the least when you really, really want something. -When you choose to spend money or do something and you are trying to discern what the Bible would have you do, ask questions that uncover your motives. Questions that uncover what else you could do if you did something else. -The consequence of sin is death. -Sin is an archery term, and it means missing God’s mark. -How do you know if something is sin? Anything you do that is not from faith is sin (Romans 14:23). -Don’t confuse confession with repentance. Confession is acknowledging your sin; repentance is turning from it. -Work existed before the fall, but now it’s hard because of sin. -The cure for sin is Jesus. -The first gospel shows up in Genesis 3. -Because of Jesus, we always have a way out. We don’t have to sin anymore. -You can not grow closer to Jesus while indulging in sin. -Where has your heart grown hard? Where are you no longer resisting temptation and sin? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Genesis 2:15-18; Genesis 3; Romans 14:23; James 1:14-15; Romans 5:17-19; 1 Corinthians 15:45, 10:13; Revelation 21:1-5, 22:1-3 -Sermon: Strings Attached -Sermon: Moses and the Burning Bush
Jun 20, 2021
Moses and the Burning Bush
SUMMARY Have you ever quit something because you felt like a failure? Have you ever failed at something over and over and over again? As we continue our series, BC, Nate Hilgenkamp examines the life of Moses, teaching us how God is not done with us until our dying breath. KEY TAKEAWAYS -God delights in delivering us. -Moses thought his failure was final. -We all pass along what we believe about God by the words we use and how we live our lives. -Do your words teach others that things will always stay the same or that God can change things? -No one is permanently stuck or too far gone for God. No one. -God fights for our freedom. -Over and over God draws Moses out of danger and persecution. -Moses means “drawn up,” which is exactly what God did to Moses himself and what He used Moses to do for the Israelites. -God flips Moses’ focus. -Moses was so consumed with himself and his own failures, not on God and who He is and what He can do. -Stop looking at yourself and your failures and start looking at God. -What are you prone to focus on above God? -Your perceived sense of independence is crushing you. -The only way to experience freedom is giving up and giving God control of your life. -Beware of having a “someone else” mindset and faith. It is selfish and not of the Lord. -Moses was mopey, Jesus was eager. Which one are you more prone to being like? -Will you say yes to what God has for you? Will you submit to Him? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Exodus 2:11-3:12; Psalm 40:2; Exodus 4:11-13; Hebrews 3:1-3 -Sermon: Abraham & Isaac
Jun 13, 2021
Abraham and Isaac
SUMMARY Are you ever confused when you read the Old Testament? Is it ever messy and hard to understand? As we start our new series, BC (Before Christ), Derek Davidson shows us how all of Scripture points to Christ. Specifically, he examines the story of Abraham and Isaac. KEY TAKEAWAYS -God tests us to reveal our faith. -Abraham failed multiple tests throughout his life; however, God continued to use Abraham and fulfill His promises to him. That’s the God we serve. -What’s the one thing you don’t want God to ask you to do? To give up? -What in your life has your trust and loyalty more than God? -This story reveals God’s character. -In the Old Testament, other people and cultures would sacrifice their children to their gods. That’s not the God we serve! -What false god are you prone to worship: gossip, pride, pornography, materialism, money, work, accomplishments, comfort, food? What is it for you? -The whole Old Testament reveals Jesus. -Throughout the Old Testament, God in His sovereignty points to Jesus time and time and time again. -There are many, many similarities between Isaac and Jesus. -When we are tested by God, it’s an invitation to join Him and His story and what He is up to. -What invitations from God are you missing out on? -Whatever test you are facing, because of Christ, you can trust Him. He will provide. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Genesis 22:1-14; Hebrews 11:17-19; Mark 10:17-31; 2 Kings 3:26-27; Leviticus 18:21
Jun 06, 2021
How Did I Get Here?
SUMMARY Have you ever been in a tough place brought on by your own decisions? Have you wondered how you got there? Was it all at once, or over a period of time? Scott Kedersha teaches us about temptation and sin by examining the adulterous woman in Proverbs 7. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Walk in the way. -As Christians, we want to protect the teachings and the way of the Scriptures. -We should be cautious of anything that distracts or pulls us from the way of Christ. -Don’t fall into the trap of learning a lot about God and the Bible and simply becoming a smarter sinner. -Do not be led astray. -Do your friends lead you more toward sin or God? -Where are you most tempted? What do you think will bring you life outside of God? -We all struggle with sin. All of us. Don’t buy the lie that you are alone and the only one who struggles. -Sin always over promises and under delivers. Always. -Know what’s at stake. -Affairs don’t start in hotel rooms. They start when you decide to keep things from your spouse. They are one thousand small decisions leading to one big decision. -Know where you are tempted. Know your ditches and how the enemy will take you out. Have a death grip on these things. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Proverbs 7; Proverbs 14:12-13; -Sermon: How to Beat the Enemy -Sermon: Trials and Temptations
May 30, 2021
Sins of the Pharisee
SUMMARY Think of the closest relationships in your life. How have they changed over time? What about your relationship with God? Has it ever drifted? As we finish our two-week series, Far from the Father, JP teaches us about the sins of the older brother and the Pharisees from Luke 15. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Do you find yourself short-tempered or frustrated when things don’t go your way? Do you find it difficult to celebrate the success of others? Do you enjoy God? -The Pharisees were the most religious people when Jesus walked the earth; and yet, throughout all the gospels, Jesus had the most issues with them and used the strongest language against them. -Jesus brilliantly puts people into stories He tells to teach them the truth they need to hear. -A telltale sign of a Pharisee is they focus on what God hasn’t done. -If you take pharisaical sins lightly they will kill you. They will destroy your life. -Anger is a sign you’ve drifted from the Father. -The opposite of the fruit of the Spirit is anger. -The foundation of most anger is arrogance. It’s thinking you know better than God. It’s what happened to and made the devil the devil. -“Worry is being fearful that God is going to get it wrong and bitterness is believing that He did.” -Tim Keller -Anger is not a personality. You must understand: your bitterness makes you a really miserable person and hard to be around. -Jesus got angry at the Pharisees. He was never mad at the prostitutes and the tax collectors. It was the religious elite. The self-righteous. -The greatest thing you can do when you feel anger toward someone is to come close to them. Pull them in. Sit them down at your table and get to know them. -Your pride will always want to tell someone how awesome you are. -Pride is a sign you’ve drifted from the Father. -God doesn’t need your help. -God came here to serve you. -Yes, use your gifts and talents to serve the church. However, make no mistake, God doesn’t need you. -Are you working for God, or are you working from the knowledge that He has given you everything? -Do you expect to get something in return from God? That’s slave (employee) talk. Not son or daughter talk. -You can’t be grateful for what you feel entitled to. -Envy is a sign you’ve drifted from the Father. -When you think you are owed something you will envy someone with it. -What do you deserve? Do you fully grasp that you have an eternal inheritance coming your way? Make no mistake, as Christ-followers, you will miss out on things here and now. -This life is like the snap of two fingers. It will be over and gone before you know it. -All relationships take work. Good marriages aren’t found, they are forged through hardships. -In your relationship with God, don’t do the same thing(s) over and over and over again expecting the same results. Change things up. Be creative. -God doesn’t move on us. He doesn’t go anywhere. We are the ones that drift. He’s always looking for you. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Luke 15:22-32; Galatians 5:22-23; Psalm 16:11; Nehemiah 8:10; Acts 17:24-25; Mark 10:45; Galatians 4:7 -Sermon: The Father’s Response to Rebellion and Repentance -Book: The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
May 23, 2021
The Father’s Response to Rebellion and Repentance
SUMMARY What do you believe about God? Who and what has contributed to that belief? Are you sure you are right? As we start a new series, Far From the Father, JP teaches us about God by examining when Jesus taught about the Father in Luke 15. KEY TAKEAWAYS -“What comes to a person’s mind when they think about God is the most important thing about them.” -AW Tozer -When the gospels talk about “sinner” they are talking about a class of people. When they talk about “tax collectors” they are talking about people who took 85% and used part of the money to oppress the very people (the Jews) they took it from. -Asking your father for your inheritance in Bible times was the equivalent of saying, “Dad, I wish you were dead.” -Sometimes when we aren’t pursuing the Lord it makes all the sense in the world that we are experiencing a storm or a famine in our lives. -When you rebel, God will let you. -God wants you to know that life can be found in Him alone. Not possessions, money, experiences, or anything else. Only Him. -Read Romans chapter 1 for a commentary of what is happening in our culture today. -Do you really want God, or do you just want His stuff? -Most of us superstitiously approach God, trying to say our prayers just right, hoping to get what we want because what we want is not Him. -If you like what you got, keep doing what you are doing. But if you keep doing what you are doing, you are not going to like what you got. -Some of the richest and most “free” people in the world are the most depressed and anxious. -The Bible is brilliant, and the way you will miss the truths it teaches is by thinking you already have them. -Do you ever plan to pray rather than pray? -Do not be deceived: God has seen everything. The darkest perversions of your heart and everything you’ve ever done. He has seen and knows it all. -When you come to ruin, God hurts with you. -God isn’t hurt by you, but He hurts with you. The Son was hurt for you. -The way the world was designed by God is that sin will always have consequences. Eternally, because of Jesus, we are free. But on this earth, sin always has consequences. -God looks at you and He embraces you. He’s not scared of your filth. -Sometimes when you hurt in relationships, it’s good and healthy to create boundaries with those people. However, you need to understand that God doesn’t do that. He radically pursues you. -The number one metaphor for heaven is a party. -When you repent, God restores you. -What someone celebrates tells you a lot about them. -What do you celebrate? If you are a parent, what do you celebrate in your kids’ lives? -What does God celebrate? He celebrates repentance. -Repentance is owning whatever you did and taking the consequences as they come. It’s turning from your sin and turning to God. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Luke 15:1-24; Romans 1 -Book: The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
May 16, 2021
A Message for Mothers
SUMMARY Extraordinary kids often come from extraordinary parents. Not always, but often. Whether you are single or married, have kids or don’t have kids, JP teaches us about the legacy of motherhood, which is really all about discipleship. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Live out your faith, and receive grace. -Faith is caught much more than it’s taught. -One of the worst things you can do as a parent is bring your kids to church “for them” if you aren’t also going for yourself. That type of hypocrisy will drive them away from the faith. -What you bring into your home will spread throughout the home. What are you bringing into your home? -Regardless of your past, you have a home in the church. -Extraordinary kids are the work of extraordinary grace. Parents often make the mistake of taking too much credit when things go well and too much blame when things go poorly. -God will often take your past and make it your platform. He takes your mess and makes it your message. -Let them go, and let them grow. -Set a spark in your kids’ life and surround them with the fire of Scripture, but then let them go and pray. -One of the best things you can do as a parent is to let your kids fail and learn from it. -God’s design is that kids would leave & cleave as they get older. -Other than the gospel, one of the greatest things you can give your young kids is boundaries. As they get older, that changes to boundaries around you. -When your kids are younger, you are the driver. As they get older, you become a road sign (a steady, unemotional reminder of the way to go). -Give the gift that keeps on giving. -You can’t give your kids the Holy Spirit, but you can give them the gospel. -Gospel simply means good news. The good news is that God sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to live the perfect life you could never live and died the death that you deserve. His death was the perfect payment for your sins. -Good people don’t go to Heaven and bad people don’t go to hell. Forgiven people, people who trust the payment of Jesus Christ for their sins, go to heaven. -Husbands and fathers: ask your wife how you can better serve her. Sit on your hands, listen, and then do what she shares with you. -If you are single, you don’t have to wait to disciple kids. Some of the most influential mothers are not biological. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: 2 Timothy 1:5-7; Philippians 2:19-23; 2 Timothy 3:13-15; Acts 16:1-3; 2 Timothy 1:6; Proverbs 22:6; Genesis 2:24
May 09, 2021
The Shepherd Provides
SUMMARY Who is the most discontent person you know? What about the most content person you know? What do you think accounts for the difference between the two? As we finish our sermon series, The Shepherd in the Psalm, JP teaches us about how God, The Shepherd, Provides. KEY TAKEAWAYS -The Shepherd provides peace. -Your Shepherd never sleeps or slumbers. He’s always watching over you. -The worst thing about hell might be the fact that you see what you are missing out on forever and ever and ever. It’s eternal FOMO (fear of missing out). -The end of Psalm 23 is like a giant exhale. It’s the reality that the sheep will be with the shepherd forever. -The Shepherd provides contentment. -So often, our biggest enemy is in-between our ears. It’s all the thoughts spinning in our head. -Why do we have a scarce mentality? -The Shepherd is our provision. -It’s not just that the Shepherd provides. That is true, but it’s incomplete. Everything we need is found in Him. -When you meet Jesus someday, will you know Him, or will He be a stranger to you? -If you don’t acknowledge you will spend eternity in heaven or hell, you are simply fooling yourself and being a fool by making this world your home. -The greatest thing you can do every single day for the rest of your life is to live fully surrendered to your Shepherd. -Much sooner than you think you will die and meet God face to face and face judgment. -Make no mistake, one day Jesus is coming back. Don’t be diluted by the things that you see, touch, and feel right now. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Psalm 23:5-6; Psalm 121:1-4; Luke 16:22-23; Psalm 16:5; Luke 12:35-37; Isaiah 53:5-6; Psalm 100:3; -Sermon: The Shepherd Comforts and Protects -Sermon: The Good Shepherd
May 02, 2021
The Shepherd Comforts and Protects
SUMMARY Have you ever been somewhere and realized you were out of place? What about being out of place in a hard or difficult or dangerous situation? As we continue our series, The Shepherd in the Psalm, JP teaches us about the Shepherd’s presence and comfort as we walk with Him. KEY TAKEAWAYS -In moments of trouble and in dark valleys, who you are with really matters. -In times of trouble, God doesn’t always protect us (in a fallen world and on this side of death), but He does always promise to comfort us. -The Shepherd is with us in dark valleys. -Sheep are closest to their predators when they walk through valleys; however, they are even closer to their shepherd. -You are either entering a valley, in a valley, or preparing for a valley. -When you enter a valley it’s the starting line, not the finish. -Sometimes sheep can’t see the Shepherd, but they follow the sheep who are following the Shepherd. -You must keep going when you are in the valley. Put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Don’t isolate and tap out. -We are protected by the Shepherd’s presence. -We don’t talk enough about the reality that satan and his demons hate us and want to steal, kill, and destroy us. -Make no mistake, satan will absolutely destroy you. You are no match for him. However, he is no match for your Shepherd. He is terrified of your Shepherd. -If dependence is the goal, weakness is the advantage. -If closeness to the Shepherd is the goal, then the valley is the advantage. -Christians talk about our Dad and to our Dad. It’s theology and a relationship. -We are comforted by the Shepherd’s presence. -The rod is used for both protection and correction. -The Word of God is our rod today...it protects and corrects us as we read it and apply it to our lives. -The staff saves and directs. -The Holy Spirit saves us and gives us direction. -When you are looking for protection, proximity is everything. -What would you do if you knew God was with you? From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible goes out of its way to show you that God is with you. -It’s time to stop playing religious games and leaving the Shepherd at church on Sunday. Take Him with you everywhere you go. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: Psalm 23:4; John 16:33; 1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10; Ephesians 4:27; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:11-12; John 16:7; 1 Samuel 17:37-47 -Sermon: The Good Shepherd -Book: A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller
Apr 25, 2021
The Good Shepherd
SUMMARY If you had to compare yourself to an animal, what animal would you choose? What about a sheep? When you think about a sheep, what comes to mind? As we start our new series, The Shepherd in the Psalm, JP teaches us about sheep and how God, our Good Shepherd, leads them. KEY TAKEAWAYS -The sheep is the only animal in the animal kingdom without a defense mechanism. -The Scripture compared and calls us, humans, one animal: sheep. -The carrot that the enemy often dangles in front of us is freedom. We think we want it and can handle it, but in reality, it will kill us. -Do you believe that you need to be under the care of someone? Scripture is clear that is how God made us to live. -God, our good Shepherd, is in charge and we are not. -Psalm 23 is one of the most well know and most referenced passages in all of Scripture. -The Shepherd leads us to rest. -Christianity is not an “I have to” faith, but an “I get to” faith. -Sheep won’t rest unless they are free from fear, conflict, parasites & flies (worries & anxiety & things to do), and hunger. -So many Christians have fears that are in exact opposition to God’s Word and His promises to us. -Sheep are self destructive animals. -If dependence is the goal, then your weakness is the advantage. -The Shepherd leads us to restoration. -Sheep are completely fine drinking from water that will kill them. And the reality is, so are we. -You can not and will not grow as a follower of Jesus Christ without the spiritual disciplines. -God delights in taking broken things and making them new. -The person who is least OK is the one who is most committed to making everyone think they are OK. -The Shepherd leads us to Righteousness. -Christ, our Good Shepherd, has our best interests in mind. Always. -When we follow God’s interests for our lives, His reputation is on the line, not ours. We can trust Him. -God doesn’t only show us which way to go, He pays for the times when we go the wrong way. -The greatest apologetic today are believers who trust God in really difficult times. -Our desire for freedom and to be on our own transcends all ages and demographics. Left to ourselves, we will die. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture study: Psalm 23:1-3; Proverbs 14:12; Matthew 11:28-30; Psalm 127:2; Jeremiah 2:13 -Book: A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller -Sermon Series: Conflicted
Apr 18, 2021
Trials and Temptations
SUMMARY Are you going through any trials right now? Where are you most tempted in life? Living in a broken, sin-filled world, guarantees that you will face trials and temptations. David Marvin teaches through James 1:1-18, showing us how we can walk through the trials and temptations of life in this world. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Scripture doesn’t teach “if” we will face trials, but rather “when” we will face trials. They are guaranteed on this earth. -When you embrace trials as a Christian, God uses them to grow and strengthen your faith. -Don’t make the mistake of walking away from God when trials come. -The Christian life is a process of sanctification, which simply means to become more like Jesus. -God doesn’t create the pain and problems of this world—they are because of us and sin—but He does use them for our ultimate good when we trust and follow Him. -You’ve never had a conversation with someone about needing to be less peaceful or calm. Our default setting is the opposite: anxiety, worry, fear, etc. -If we don’t flee from temptations, they will eventually hook us and turn into sin, which leads to death. -Here is an acronym to fight temptations: TRUTH: T (Triggers), R (Root beliefs), U (Ungodly behavior), T (Truth from God’s Word), H (Helpful future response) -Everything good comes from God. Everything. -At your core, what do you truly believe about God? Not what you know to be true about Him, but what do you really and truly believe to be true about Him? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: James 1:1-18
Apr 11, 2021
Through the Lens of Barabbas
SUMMARY We all want to be free. Free from rules, consequences, sin, and even death. Are there any areas of your life that you aren’t free right now? This Easter, we celebrate the true and ultimate freedom we have in Christ and how He sets us free from death. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Freedom from death foretold. -All throughout the Bible there are “Easter Eggs”...hints and clues and shadows foretelling the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. -Freedom from death displayed. -We are the prisoner stuck in a cage and unable to free ourselves. -What cage are you sitting in: pride, anxiety, deceit, sexual immorality, control, fear, materialism, etc.? -We are Barabbas. -Freedom from death forever. -Christianity would not be a thing had Christ not resurrected from the dead, appeared to over 500 people, and then person after person and generation after generation told others who eventually told you. -If you were to die today, on a scale of 1 to 10, how certain are you that you would go to heaven? -If God were to ask you why He should let you into heaven, what would you say? -Was God’s anger toward your sin satisfied through the death of Jesus? -You can live forever, free from death, by trusting in Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection three days later. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Genesis 22:14; Exodus 12:12-13; Leviticus 16:8-10; Hebrews 10:1-4; Mark 15:6-11: Mathew 27:16; Galatians 4:6; Matthew 27:26; Acts 2:23-24; Romans 8:1-2; 1 John 5:13; Ephesians 2:8-9 -Sermon: Through the Lens of Pontius -Story: Jesus and the Bird Cage
Apr 04, 2021
Through the Lens of the Thief
Apr 02, 2021
Through the Lens of Pontius Pilate
SUMMARY Have you ever made a decision because of someone else? Wanted to do one thing but did something else because of others? As we continue our series Cross Examined, JP teaches us about people pleasing by examining the life of Pontius Pilate, a people pleasing politician. KEY TAKEAWAYS -People pleasing keeps relationships really shallow. -Who knows you? Who really, really knows you? -Keeping secrets until you die is satanic. It’s the opposite of what the Bible calls us to. -You cannot be a servant of Christ and live to please people. -If you make decisions based on what others think of you, you are a people pleaser. -A people pleaser is powerless. -Christians do not determine obedience by the outcome. -The most powerful man in the area (Pilate) was simply a puppet in the hands of the people. -A people pleaser is easily persuaded. -The gospel is controversial. Living for Christ is controversial. If you aren’t anchored in this truth, you will be swept away. -Do you make decisions based on what other people with think or what will honor God? -Something can be true -Something can be true: even if no one knows it. Something can be true: even if no one admits it. Something can be true: even if no one agrees what it is. Something can be true: even if no one follows it. Something can be true: even if no one but God grasps it fully. -If you follow the crowd, you are going to get lost in it. -You can’t desire to live like Jesus and be in fear of being crucified. -A people pleaser will point fingers. -When you try to make everyone happy you will have to find someone to blame. -We have such a high view of justice when it comes to our own lives that we completely forget that the central reality and truth of our faith is that our God was blamed and crucified for something He didn’t do. -We, all of us, are the ones to blame for Jesus being on the cross. -Jesus has all power, is not persuaded by others, and never points fingers. -Ten out of the eleven disciples died a brutal, martyrs death because they would not deny the crucifixion. What about you? Are you ready to live for Jesus and be His disciple no matter the cost? -Not one time did Jesus ask the question, “What will they think of me?” Rather, every single moment He asked, “What is my Father’s will?” MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Galatians 1:10; John 19:4-12; Proverbs 21:1; John 19:13-16; John 18:37-38; Matthew 27:24-26; Revelation 19:11-16 -Resource: Doing the Right Thing by Chuck Colson
Mar 28, 2021
Through the Lens of Peter
SUMMARY Have you ever lost your way before? Maybe you have right now? As we continue our series, Cross Examined, JP examines the life of Peter, teaching us that we are never too far gone for God to rescue us and make good out of our mess. KEY TAKEAWAYS -If God can make good of the cross, He can make good of anything. -Jesus has a new future for His followers, and we won’t realize it until we forfeit our plans. -If dependence is the goal, weakness is an advantage. -Where are you with your plans—money, job, family, possessions, etc.—in this season? Are you holding them tightly or giving them to the Lord? -Delayed obedience is disobedience. -The lie in failure is that God is finished. -God finishes things, and as Christians, we should too. -Staying committed to going to church is the worst hobby ever. Harris Creek doesn’t want church goers, we are trying to make fully devoted followers of Jesus. -Jesus is faithful to restore His followers. -Jesus is faithful in our failure. -God is really, really good at finding people who have lost their way. -It is in the cross that our future is found. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Luke 5:3-11; Luke 22:33-34,54-62; John 21:3-17
Mar 21, 2021
Through the Lens of Mary Magdalene
SUMMARY Have you ever loved someone so much that you always wanted to be with them? What about when hard times came...did your actions match your desire? As we continue our series, Cross Examined, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches us about being a resilient disciple by examining the life Mary Magdalene. KEY TAKEAWAYS -There are two goals with Cross Examined: Focus on the cross of Jesus and learn about Him by examining the lives of people who spent time with Jesus. -A resilient disciple follows Jesus anywhere. -Is your life about the magnification of yourself or of Jesus? -Mary didn’t let anything get in the way of her pursuit of Jesus. What are you prone to prioritize ahead of Jesus? -A resilient disciple sits with Jesus in the unanswered questions. -Life in a fallen world is filled with hard things. When you experience hardship, what do you run to? Things of this world or Jesus? -The Christian life is filled with an “already but not yet” tension. We are already saved by our faith in Jesus, but we are not yet home until we die or He returns. -A resilient disciple experiences deep joy with Jesus. -All throughout Scripture we see examples of faithful men and women who keep showing up despite their circumstances. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Matthew 27:45-50,55; Luke 8:1-3; Matthew 27:57-61; John 20:11-17 -Sermon: Through the Lens of Judah
Mar 14, 2021
Through the Lens of Judas
SUMMARY Have you ever been betrayed before? Betrayal hurts deeply. As we start our new series, Cross Examined, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches us about the worst betrayal of all time as we cross examine the life of Judas. KEY TAKEAWAY -Judas was not the one to betray Jesus, we are the one that betrayed Jesus, and there are three lies we are prone to believe. -Lie #1: We think we can dispose of Jesus. -Judas’ decision to betray Jesus wasn’t a financial decision, it was a faith decision. -In Judas’ mind, he didn’t serve Jesus, but Jesus served him. What about you? Do you serve Jesus, or does Jesus serve you? -How much is Jesus worth to you? -Do you ask what Jesus can do for you, or do you ask what you can do for Jesus? -If this world is all you are living for, following and living for Jesus is inconvenient. -Lie #2: We think we can deceive Jesus. -A person capable of lying is capable of anything. -The biggest problem in Waco is cultural Christianity, and at the heart of cultural Christianity is the belief that we can deceive God and simply add Him to our lives for one hour per week. -At some point, we will all have to own our sin. Some day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. -Lie #3: We believe our sin is our responsibility to fix. -The beauty of the gospel is that Jesus made our sin His responsibility to fix. -Despite Judas’ betrayal, Jesus continued to woo him back to Himself. -The very reason Jesus came to earth was to rescue people like Judas...people like us. -It does not matter what you’ve done, you are never too far gone for Jesus to rescue you. -There are a multitude of questions we could cross examine Judas with to understand why he did what he did, but the reality is, he could ask us those very same questions. However, the end of his story doesn’t need to be the end of our story. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Matthew 26; Exodus 21:32; Matthew 27:1-5; Isaiah 53:5
Mar 07, 2021
Who to Date
SUMMARY When you go shopping, do you go with something specific in mind, or do you go not having any idea what you are looking for? Either option can work for shopping, but when it comes to dating, if you don’t know what you are looking for you won’t know when you’ve found it. This week, JP teaches through 1 Timothy 4:12, showing us how a message on dating is really a message on discipleship. KEY TAKEAWAYS -The more specificity you have when you are looking for something the easier it will be to know when you’ve found it. -You want to be the one that the person you are looking for is looking for. -Most people, if they are being really honest, are looking for someone to make them feel a certain way. The problem is, feelings come and feelings go. -Most marriages fail because people are simply looking to feel a certain way. -Sadly, today in America, the smallest demographic of marriages are happy and committed. The majority are either divorced or living unhappily un-divorced. -The word date or dating is an extremely modern idea. -The world and Hollywood are telling you to date and train your heart opposite to God’s Word. -Do they set an example in their speech? -What comes out of their mouth when they are “squeezed”...when they are frustrated? -Do they set an example in their conduct? -What is their reputation? Reputation is simply conduct stacked up over time. -Two tips for online dating: profiles lie and don’t date strangers. -Past performance is the best indicator of future performance. -In dating, references are your friend. -You want someone’s repentance to be as notorious as their rebellion. -How do they act toward someone who can do nothing for them in return? -Do they set an example in love? -What do they love? -Parents, what would your children say you love most based on what they observe? -If you act one way throughout the week and then put on a face and show for church on Sunday you will mess children up. Badly. -What do they give their time, talents, and treasure to? This will show you what they truly love. -Do they set an example in faith? -Does the reality of the gospel infiltrate every aspect of their life? -Are they running the same race at the same place at the same pace as you? -Half the battle in dating is where you are looking for a spouse. -You are looking for someone who is well married to Jesus. -Spend time where Christians spend time. -Just because someone is in church and has a Bible doesn’t make them a Christian. -You aren’t looking for a soul mate, you are looking for a sole mate. -Don’t date thinking you will change someone. Do not date non-Christians...it’s contrary to Scripture. -Do they set an example in purity? -What are they entertained by? What informs their heart? Are they entertained by the things Jesus died for? -Someone who will be intimate with you outside of marriage is telling you they don’t value the marriage covenant and that they will do the same thing with someone else once they are married to you. -“How far is too far?” is the wrong question to ask. However, as a great rule of thumb, when your body prepares for sex you’ve gone too far. A better question is “What would glorify God”? -If you are a Christian, your body is not your own. It belongs to God. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: 1 Timothy 4:12; James 1:19; Luke 6:45; Proverbs 20:11; Matthew 22:37-39; Matthew 6:21; 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 -Book: Outdated (available wherever books are sold)
Feb 28, 2021
Ministry Starts Today
SUMMARY What does it mean to be in ministry? Do you know someone in ministry? As we continue our series, Ecclesia, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches through Galatians 6:1-5, teaching us that all Christians are in ministry. KEY TAKEAWAYS -There is only one quality needed to be in ministry: the Holy Spirit. If you are a Christian, you are in ministry! -If someone in your life group talks to a “pastor” before you, that should bother you. -As ministers, we restore sinners. -Confessing your sin should be a regular part of your life group meetings. -Make no mistake, sin will destroy your life. -Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. -When Christians confess sin, we should remind them of their identity in Christ and that He died for their sins. -As ministers, we carry burdens. -We generally don’t like asking for help; however, that runs completely contrary to the gospel and to living life alongside other Christians. -When you help carry someone’s burden you are living out the Great Commandment: love God and love others. -As ministers, we carry our own load. -Different seasons call for different tasks, but each season calls us to prioritize our faith and to focus on what God has given us (not what He gave someone else). -In order for the church to advance, everyone has to be in the game. Christianity is not a spectator sport. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Galatians 6:1-5; 2 Peter 2:9; Exodus 18:13-27; Proverbs 28:13; Mark 12:30-31 -Sermon: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Feb 21, 2021
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
SUMMARY Have you ever received a gift that you didn’t use? What about given someone a gift that they didn’t use? As we continue our series, Ecclesia, JP teaches through Romans 12:1-8, teaching us about spiritual gifts and how we can use them faithfully and to the glory of God. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Nothing lacks appreciation like not opening or using a gift from someone. -Spiritual gifts are gifts (talents) the Holy Spirit gives you to build up God’s church and glorify Him. -The church is a people given gifts from and for God. -100% of Christians are given spiritual gifts from God. Only 45% of people in the church are serving (national average). As of today, 35% of people at Harris Creek are serving. -There are four ways to misuse your spiritual gift(s): use the gift for selfish gain, neglect the gift, resent the gift, & covet other gifts. -You have met very few people who have given themselves as a living sacrifice to God. -A surrendered Christian is focused on serving others. -When you say someone is “gifted” you are really saying they have been given something. It’s no different with spiritual gifts...they are given by God (not something you work for). -Your gifts are hidden by pride and used with faith. -Your giftedness will not develop godliness. -If you think the church exists to serve you, then you have never seen or been part of a biblical church. -There are a diversity of gifts among the church. -You need to grow in appreciation for other people’s gifts. You want a church to have a diversity of gifts, not a bunch of people that all have the same gift. -You being a right member of the local church will be sanctifying. It will be hard at times...which means you are doing it right! -Identify your gifts and use them. -One way to find out what your spiritual gift is is to ask the people closest to you what they think it is. -You will only be held accountable for what you did with the gift(s) you were given, not what you were not given. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 25:28-30 -Resource: Bible Knowledge Commentary
Feb 14, 2021
The First Assembly
SUMMARY We all have different preferences when it comes to what church should be like. However, more importantly, how close are we to being the church God had in mind? As we continue our series, Ecclesia, JP gives us a peek into the window of a church that met 2,000 years ago. KEY TAKEAWAYS -God’s church is marked by devotion. -What are you willing to miss life group for? -God’s church is marked by biblical teaching. -We are going to teach from the Bible every week, and we expect you to be reading the Bible every day. -When you gather as a life group, do you talk about and counsel each other from the Bible? -God’s church is marked by fellowship. -Does your group have a “fun guy”? Do you have fun together? -God’s church is marked by communion. -When you are with your life group you can take communion together. -God’s church is marked by prayer. -Do you pray when your life group gathers? Never come together without spending time in prayer. Pray big! -God’s church is marked by awe. -Our issue is not our knowledge of the gospel, but rather, our application of the gospel. -Every time you meet as a life group celebrate what God is doing. -God’s church is marked by generosity. -When you are with your life group, talk about finances and where your money is going. Nothing should be off limits to talk about. -God’s church is marked by worship. -Worship is not just singing songs...it’s everything we do and how we live. -God’s church is marked by joy. -Joy in relationships isn’t found, it’s forged. -God’s church is marked by conversions. -If someone were to look through the window of your life group gathering, what would they see? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Acts 2:42-47; Acts 1:32-33; 1 Peter 2:9; Romans 12:1-2 -Resource: www.biblereadingplan.org -Resource: www.gotquestions.org
Feb 07, 2021
What is the church?
SUMMARY When you think of a church, what comes to mind? What makes a good church? What is the church? As we start our new series, Ecclesia: A People Not a Place, JP teaches us that when we think about the church, a lot of us think something that Jesus never meant. KEY TAKEAWAYS -It’s easy to take a new convert to Christianity and tell them what the Christian life is all about. It’s very, very difficult to take someone who has been “in the church” for a long time and teach them a different way. -The biggest problem in Waco, in the Bible Belt, is cultural Christianity. -Cultural Christianity is when you think Christianity is for and about you. It’s about your preferences and making sure you are comfortable and like how things are. -Jesus is the one who started the church, and because of that, He gets to determine what the church is, not us. -When Jesus first talked about and used the word “church,” he would’ve been using it more like an army...the idea of “calling out His people;” assembling His people. -The church is: People who belong to Jesus. -You can’t go to church and you can’t watch church. “Going to” or “watching church” would be like watching AT&T Stadium play the Philadelphia Eagles...it’s a categorical mistake. -When the disciples heard Jesus talk about the church they would’ve thought about the equivalent of Seal Team 6, not potlucks and Sunday school. -To “bind” on earth means to forbid and to “loose” on earth means to allow. -Again, the greatest evil in Waco is cultural Christianity. It doesn’t care about the things of God. -The church cares about what God cares about. -The very first spiritual force to oppose the church happened immediately after Jesus talks about the church for the first time: selfishness (or said differently, personal preferences). -Do not let your preferences rob you of paradise. -Holding the line for Christianity is no longer good enough. If you aren’t up for a battle, just fold. The church does win and it will prevail, but not in America based on the direction our country has been going. -The church is always marked by people making sacrifices. -What does it look like for you to give your life...your entire life, every single area of it...to Jesus? -We gather so that we can go. -Being enlisted in the military is extremely similar to how it should be in the church: “Here I am. How can I be deployed? How can I be of service?” -The solution to all the problems in our land is the very thing Jesus started on a hillside 2,000 years ago. -There is a war going on and we, Christians, are the soldiers Christ assembled to fight it with Him. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Matthew 16:13-26; Romans 12:1-2 -Sermon Series: Fresh Start
Jan 31, 2021
How to Beat the Enemy
SUMMARY What are you most often tempted by? Did 2020 bring new and more temptations into your life? As we wrap up our series, Hindsight is 2020, JP teaches through Matthew 4:1-11, teaching us all about temptation. KEY TAKEAWAYS -There are five main things the enemy uses: despair, disunity, deception, disease, & death. Do you think he was at work in 2020? -We are culpable. The enemy will tempt us, but we always have the option to say no. -Temptation: a proposition to not trust God. -Where and what are you tempted by: fear, laziness/apathy, prejudice, cynicism, materialism, alcoholism, drugs, isolation, anger, despair. -When tempted with His wants, Jesus trusted God’s Word. -Sometimes your greatest temptations come after mountaintop moments. -Where in life do you feel entitled? -Trust yourself the least when you really really want something. -Not all of your desires are from Got. You have desires that you should NOT act on...they are from your flesh and of this world and you should put them to death. -Trust God’s Word over your wants. -When tempted to display power, Jesus trusted God’s plan. -The enemy knows Scripture. He will twist and distort it to tempt and lie to you. -Are you able to sit in a conversation and keep the focus on the other person, or are you always trying to make the conversation about you? -Test this: every time you seek power, the enemy is at play. -When tempted with a shortcut, Jesus trusts God’s schedule. -When faced with suffering or temptation, do you lean on the Lord, your Master, or your own strength and feelings? -The Christian life is not about following your feelings. It’s about acknowledging them and then trusting and following what God and His Word says. -Not a single person in Scripture or history has gotten away with taking a shortcut. -If the only way you were going to overcome the temptation of satan today is to quote Deuteronomy, how would you do? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: James 1:13-15; Matthew 4:1-11; Deuteronomy 8:2-3; Psalm 91:11-12; Deuteronomy 6:16; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Peter 5:9 -Book: The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Tim Keller -Bible Reading Plan: biblereadingplan.org
Jan 24, 2021
What Can the Righteous Do?
SUMMARY Do you find yourself prone to panic when chaos comes? When the foundations are being destroyed, what will the righteous do? As we continue our Hindsight is 2020 series, Nate Hilgenkamp unpacks Psalm 11 and we'll see David's response to the chaos and confusion around him. While his friends suggest fleeing, he reminds them why he knows that he can stand firm no matter the situation. KEY TAKEAWAYS -The advice of fear. -Our enemy has a plan and a purpose in a crisis. Don’t buy his lies! He’s trying to change how you view God. -Protection provides peace. Find your protection in the Prince of Peace. -Danger is real, and life in a fallen world is hard. But, you need to identify words of faith vs. words of fear in times of crisis and hardship. -Words of fear will always be about you. Words of faith will always be about God. -The answer of faith. -Our situation doesn’t change God’s goodness, closeness, protection, or love for us. -When your protection is in God, the world can’t take it away. -There never has been and never will be something in your life that God is surprised by. -God always sees you and you can always have His full and undivided attention. -The activity of the righteous. -The world flees, but our God sees, so I’ll stay. -How you take refuge in the Lord when crises comes can be predicted by how you are taking refuge in the Lord right now. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Psalm 11; -Sermon: The Power of Jesus’ Name
Jan 17, 2021
The Power of Jesus' Name
SUMMARY A lot has changed in the last year, but not everything has changed. In an ever changing world, we need to hang on to never changing truths. As we continue our series, Hindsight is 2020, Shane Pruitt teaches us three things we will never have to regret about Jesus. KEY TAKEAWAY -In an ever changing world, we need to hang on to never changing truths. -Jesus hasn’t changed and neither has our identity in Him. We are still—always!—called to know Him and to make Him known. -COVID-19 has not changed the great commission. -You never have to regret experiencing Jesus’ power. -You won’t understand resurrection and life until you understand Jesus. -The only thing that can overcome death is life, that can overcome the grave is resurrection, the very thing Christ did! -Sin spreads worse than any virus has ever spread. -Sitting inside a church doesn’t make you a Christian. We are not born Christians...we are born sinners in need of a Savior. -Have you ever noticed that when someone else sins we become judges but when we sin we become defense attorneys? -Sin is powerful, but Jesus is infinitely more powerful. -You will never be too far gone for Jesus. Never! -Why would we ever follow someone who can’t do anything different than we can do all by ourselves? Jesus is the only person to ever defeat death...the one thing we can not do all by ourselves. Buddha, Mohammad, Joseph Smith...all other major religions central figure died and stayed dead, but not Jesus! -You never have to regret walking in Jesus’ victory. -The gospel of Jesus is not about making good people better or bad people good but about making dead people alive. -The power of the gospel doesn’t just change our identity, it changes our actions. -Grave clothes are for the dead. They are no longer appropriate for the living. -Lost people are supposed to live like lost people. What’s sad is when found people still live like lost people. -What are some old grave clothes that you are still holding on to? Gossip? Complaining? Fear? An addiction? Anger? Social media? -One of the greatest tragedies is when people who are spiritually alive in Christ walk around and live like people who are dead. -The world needs the hope of Jesus and God’s plan A is that His people, Christians, would live out that hope day in and day out, outside the four walls of the building we gather in once a week. -You never have to regret pointing others to Jesus. -Most of the things we do in response to fear we regret. -When our flesh sees something difficult our faith sees an opportunity. -Lazarus used the most difficult thing in his life (death) to point people to the most powerful thing in his life (Jesus). -Who needs to hear about Jesus in your life? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: John 11:17-44; Hebrews 13:8 -Sermon: A Walk to Remember
Jan 10, 2021
A Walk to Remember
SUMMARY Do you have any regrets as you look back on 2020? As we start a new year we are starting a new series: Hindsight is 2020. Jim Underwood teaches through the story of Jesus and the fig tree in Mark 11:11-24, teaching us about bearing fruit through a relationship with Christ. KEY TAKEAWAYS -What if you knew this was the last week of your life? How would you live? Would you do anything differently? -Fruit is a symptom of true, saving faith. -If we belong to God, the fruit of the Spirit should be increasingly evident in our lives over time. -Jesus had the most problems with the Pharisees...the religious people who had a bunch of leaves and no fruit. -Christianity isn’t about checking boxes for God. -We do not earn our way to God through producing fruit. The fruit comes because of our relationship with God. -Bearing fruit is impossible on our own. -No matter who you are and what you’ve done, it’s never too late to put your faith in Christ. -Are you trying to store up for yourself treasures on earth or treasures in heaven? -Fruitful living has no regrets. -This is not a sermon—nor is Christianity—about trying harder. -What will Christ find when He examines your branches? Make no mistake, the day will come when He does. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Mark 11:11-24; Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:22-23; Romans 12:1-2; John 15:5; Psalm 1:1-3; 2 Corinthians 7:10 -Sermon: Missed Expectations
Jan 03, 2021
Missed Expectations
SUMMARY Has 2020 gone like you originally planned? Have you had any missed expectations around Christmas? As we celebrate Christmas, JP teaches through the Christmas story in Luke 2 and Matthew 2, showing us the many missed expectations of the first Christmas ever. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Your greatest disappointments in life come from missed expectations. -Maybe 2020–in the midst of many missed expectations—is helping us return to the basics of Christianity. -There are many similarities between the first Christmas and this one. -The first Christmas was full of missed expectations. -Good people do not go to Heaven, and bad people do not go to hell. -Jesus gave us the vaccine for eternal punishment and separation from Him forever. -When you believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins and God raised Him from the dead, everything changes. -God may not give you what you are asking for, but He has a purpose for it. -There are two types of people: those that are on mission or those that are the mission. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Luke 2:1-7; Matthew 2:1-3; Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 1:32-33; -Sermon: The Greatest Apologetic
Dec 24, 2020
The Greatest Apologetic?
SUMMARY Do you ever look back on financial decisions with regret? Made a choice that you thought would be good but turned out poorly? How did it affect your ability to be generous? As we finish studying the book of Philippians, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches us about generosity and its relationship to the gospel. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Being generous isn’t about the amount of money you have or don’t have, give or don’t give. -“Yet” is never going to come on this side of Christ’s return. -Generosity is at the heart of the gospel. -The most generous moment in human history was 2,000 years ago when Christ went to the cross. -We often think, “How much do I have to give?” whereas God thinks, “What’s the most I can give?” -Generosity pleases God. -God doesn’t want our money, He wants our heart. (It’s not our money anyways...it’s His!) -Money makes a terrible master. -Generous people are happier people. -Our God is generous. -God delights in being generous toward us. It can look different at different times (physical, material, spiritual, etc.), but He loves to be generous toward us! -Most of us have more excess than we want to admit. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Philippians 4:14-23; Ephesians 5:1-2; Matthew 7:9-11 -Sermon: Finding Contentment -Sermon: The Peace that Follows Belief
Dec 20, 2020
Finding Contentment
SUMMARY Do you struggle with discontentment? Or better asked, where do you struggle with discontentment? Where in life are you most often discontent? As we continue studying the book of Philippians, JP teaches us the secret of contentment found in Philippians 4:10-13. KEY TAKEAWAYS -What we need for contentment is available for us at all times. -Contentment is not found in others. -We don’t use people and love stuff, we use stuff and love people. -When you give someone the control of your emotions you have made them your god. -People will let you down consistently until Jesus returns. -Who controls your contentment? What should you do about it? -Contentment is not found in circumstances. -When you make circumstances your god you will be let down time and time again. -God rarely changes our circumstances, rather, He changes us in our circumstances. -What is God teaching you in the midst of circumstances you want to change? -Christians are called to bloom where they are planted (regardless of the circumstances). -Contentment is not found in stuff. -Every Black Friday, most of us search the ads looking for something to need. Not something that we need, but something to need. Don’t buy that lie! -The rich are infinitely better off than the poor because while the poor think more money will make them happier the rich know better. -Philippians 4:13 doesn’t teach you can hit a home run because of Jesus, it teaches that you can endure any and all suffering because of Jesus. -Contentment is found in Christ alone. -When you find yourself really wanting something, pray to God that you’d want Him more. -You belong to God and God is enough. -If you dig deeply wherever God has you you will find whatever it is He wants you to find. -The gospel is not simply fire insurance to avoid hell someday when you die, it affects everything about every thought, decision, and action of your life right now...today! MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Philippians 4:10-13; Galatians 1:10; Hebrews 13:5: 1 Timothy 6:6-8 -Sermon: The Peace That Follows Belief -Sermon: Distractions on the Journey Home
Dec 13, 2020
The Peace That Follows Belief
SUMMARY Do you get stressed easily? 2020 has likely caused most of us to get stressed more than normal. What causes stress in your life? As we continue studying the book of Philippians, JP teaches through Philippians 4:4-9, showing us a 2,000 year old answer to today’s problems and stress. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Pay attention to what you pay attention to. -This world is not our home and we are not home yet. Our citizenship is in heaven! -The behavior (rejoicing and being gentle) that follows belief (the Lord is near). -Joy is an emotion (noun), but rejoicing is a choice (verb). You can choose to rejoice at any point in time. -We typically believe the answer to worry and anxiety is control. Gentleness admits that you aren’t in control and that God is in control. -What do you want to be doing when Jesus comes back? Regardless of what you are actually doing when He does come, you want to be found believing and trusting that He is in fact coming back. -The Bible—written 2,000 years ago—teaches what science is now discovering to be true about the human body and mind. -Do not be anxious without prayer. In a matter of two verses, Paul instructs us to pray four times! -The peace that follows prayer. -It takes the same amount of energy to pray as it does to be worried. -Christians have the supernatural ability to turn worry into prayer. Add “God, help us with ______” to the front of anything you are worried about. -Prayer changes everything. -Some of the most popular apps in 2020 (meditation apps) are simply encouraging us to do the very thing Paul instructs us to do 2,000 years ago while in a Roman jail cell. -Fix your mind on who you are and on Whose you are. -The peace that follows practice. -The teaching from this passage is not a one and done application. It’s something you practice day in and day out. -Practice is the ability to apply what you’ve learned. A doctor—medical practice—practices what they learn and gets better as they hone their craft. -Anxiety is contagious. Be careful of whose practice you are following. -People today are spending billions of dollars to create an angst in you to buy their product (which won’t actually solve that angst). -Your mind is a storage container. Think of it like a filing cabinet. What kind of thoughts (files) are you filling your mind with? -Who is your role model? One of the most impactful things in life is who you spend your time with. -Our behavior follows our belief. Peace follows prayer. Peace follows practice. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Philippians 4:4-9; 2 Peter 3:8-9; Philippians 2:20; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:15; Galatians 3:26-28; 2 Corinthians 11:16-29 -Sermon: Peace From Heaven -Sermon: Distractions on the Journey
Dec 06, 2020
Distractions on the Journey Home
SUMMARY Have you ever been distracted before? We all have! Where and when are you most prone to be distracted? As we continue studying the book of Philippians, JP teaches us about the dangers of being distracted in our relationship with Christ and our journey toward heaven. KEY TAKEAWAYS -If you have put your faith in Christ you are on your way home. -The mature in faith model the way. -Don’t take advantage of your salvation. You were made for a purpose...don’t simply coast once you’ve accepted Christ as your Savior. -The Christian life is like a marathon. In a marathon, if you want to grow and get faster you surround yourself with fast people. The same is true in the Christian life. -Life is hard. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do it alone...that will only make it harder. -Where in life are you most prone to do whatever you want? To follow your stomach and appetite rather than the ways of Christ and Scripture? -The distracted are destined for destruction. -Are you ever entertained by the things that put Christ on the cross? -The Scriptures are clear: you have desires for things that will kill you! You are called to wage war against those desires. -What are you denying yourself right now? What are you denying yourself so that you can pursue holiness? -The mantra of the satanic bible is to do whatever you want. -The reason the cross is offensive to people is that it’s the greatest act of selflessness in the history of the world. -Selflessness is a bad PR campaign, but how much better would your parenting, marriage, friendships, and work be if you were selfless? -The very thing we strive after and collect on earth with be asphalt in heaven. -Get along in the gospel to the finish. -When we have the same mind as Christ we should learn to agree with one another. -Disunity in the church is almost always an example of immaturity. -Don’t wait until you are ready to deal with conflict...you will never be ready, you must move toward it! -Most of the time the church splits it is satanic. We put our preferences in place of our pursuit of paradise. -Time does not heal all wounds. Surgery does, and there are usually scars. -We are not home yet and we won’t be until we are fully in the presence of Jesus. Don’t be distracted by the temporary things on this earth. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Philippians 3:15-4:3; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Peter 2:11; 1 John 2:15; 1 Corinthians 9:27; Hebrews 13:14 -Sermon: Joy in Knowing Jesus -Sermon: Ordinary Obedience
Nov 29, 2020
Joy in Knowing Jesus
SUMMARY When you hear the word religion, what comes to mind? What about the word relationship? What do the two of them have to do with Christianity and the Bible? As we continue studying the book of Philippians, Dr. Bryan Carter teaches through Philippians 3:1-14, teaching us what we can learn about religion and a relationship with God through the life of the Apostle Paul. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Beware of people who say Christianity is Jesus + something else. -We will never be able to earn our way to God. Doing good, religious things is not what God wants from us or for us. -Religion always leads to pride, self-righteousness, and cruelty. -Unfortunately, some of the meanest people can be found in the church! This should not be; it is not what God is about nor what the Bible teaches. -Followers of Jesus change from the inside out, not the outside in. -Religion makes a whole lot of noise, but it’s empty. It doesn’t really do anything. It’s like a vacuum that powers on and sounds like it’s working but doesn’t suck anything up. -It’s the Spirit of God that changes us and fuels us to live for Him, not our works or efforts. -When you follow Jesus, you grow and learn to no longer put confidence in yourself or your actions. -Anything and everything this world has to offer—money, sex, power, status, fame—is all for loss compared to knowing Christ. -Do you focus more on external things that happen in your life or the internal things of your heart? -What is the joy and focus of your life? -As Christians, in suffering, we get to know and become closer with Jesus. -2020 has been quite the year...do you know Jesus and love Him more as the end of the year is drawing near? -Religion creates a facade and a complacency making you think you’ve arrived and that you can coast. Christians aren’t “there yet” or done until we die or Christ returns. We are all a work in progress. -In order to know and press toward Christ, you need to learn to forget what lies behind you. -Christianity is both an “already” (Christ came and died and rose to life) and a “not yet” (Christ will come again!) faith. -What are you pressing toward? What is the aim and goal of your life? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Philippians 3:1-14 -Book: The Grace Awakening by Charles Swindoll -Sermon: Ordinary Obedience -Sermon: Working Out to Finish Strong
Nov 22, 2020
Ordinary Obedience
SUMMARY When you think of heroes of the Christian faith, who comes to mind? As we continue studying the book of Philippians, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches through Philippians 2:19-30, showing us that God uses ordinary obedience from ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Genuine care is rare. -It’s easy to care for people in the moment, but it’s challenging to care for people on an on-going basis, day after day, week after week. -If all your prayers from this last week were answered “yes,” how many lives would be impacted? -An inward focused life will never be a Christ-exalting life. -The more you love Jesus the more you will love the things Jesus loves. -The more you love yourself the more stressed and depressed and anxious you will be. However, a life focused on others is a life of impact. -Willingness is worship. -Are you willing to serve others? To go out of your way and your agenda to serve someone else? -Is there anything you aren’t willing to do to worship Jesus? -Your willingness will determine how much you are used by God. -Ordinary obedience from ordinary people produces extraordinary results. -Don’t buy the lie that you don’t have what it takes to be used by God. -Are you in the game or sitting on the sideline? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Suggested Scripture study: Philippians 2:19-30; 2 Timothy 3:1-2 Sermon: Working Out to Finish Strong Sermon: The Humility of Jesus
Nov 15, 2020
Working Out to Finish Strong
SUMMARY Do you know anyone who is in good physical shape? They don’t simply stay that way…there is no cruise control; there is maintenance and they work at it. As we continue studying the book of Philippians, JP teaches us how our faith is similar. We are saved by grace in faith through Jesus, and through that grace we are told to exercise our salvation. KEY TAKEAWAYS - People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated. -D.A. Carson - Work out your salvation trusting that God is at work in you. - If you go to the gym and do the exact same work out every single time you will not grow. Your faith is no different. You need to work out your salvation past the point of your comfort. - Jesus did the heavy lifting of your salvation and He will do the heavy lifting of your sanctification. - What would it look like for you to stretch your faith so that it grows? - Do you have a “Do I have to?” faith or a “Do I get to?” faith? “Do I get to” is a better way of life. - Work on serving the word of life, not words of death. - The Spirit of God inside of you is bigger than your reputation…He can change anyone! - The complainer is not healthy. There’s almost always something else going on. - Don’t put a lid on your faith. - Pour out your life in service with joy to the finish. - An important aspect of growth as a Christian is service. - Christianity is a team sport. We are not made or meant to do life alone. - 2020 has been a difficult year so far, but as Christians, we are going to heaven! And we can represent that reality today as we live out our faith here and now. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES - Suggested Scripture study: Philippians 2:12-18; 1 Timothy 4:7-8; Colossians 1:29 - Sermon: The Humility of Jesus - Sermon: Unified in Opposition
Nov 08, 2020
The Humility of Jesus
SUMMARY There is a deep desire in all of us to be great...something in each of us that wants to be part of something bigger than ourselves. What makes someone or something great? The greatest person of all time used His greatness to serve others. As we continue studying the book of Philippians, JP teaches through Philippians 2:3-11, teaching us about Jesus’ greatness and His humility. KEY TAKEAWAYS - The secret to being great in any situation is to be humble. The secret to happiness is humility. - If we define greatness as anything other than humble service we’ve made the same - mistake as the devil. - God’s exhortation of humility (exhortation simply means a strong call or urge to do something). - Biblical humility is thinking of others more and thinking more of others. - How do you do at giving others the benefit of the doubt? - “Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call 'humble' nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.” -C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity - There will be no sustainable joy in your life without humility. - This passage in Philippians addresses the hypostatic union—which is a way to talk about both the divine and human nature in the same person of Jesus Christ. - Christ’s example of humility. - If we only benefit ourselves with what we’ve been given we are fooling ourselves and missing the point of Christianity. - The idea of humble service is how Christianity explodes, not simply giving God ten percent of our lives. - Humility looks good on everyone. - The exaltation from humility. - Christ is the greatest of all time, and through His humility, we can become His co-heirs with Him in heaven forever and ever and ever. - “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” -Abraham Kuyper - The most common question the disciples asked Jesus was “Who is the greatest among us?” Jesus answered their question: I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John (who used his entire life to point others to Jesus); yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he (Luke 7:28). MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES - Suggested Scripture study: Philippians 2:3-11; Genesis 3:5; Luke 12:48; 1 Peter 5:5; Isaiah 52:13, 45:23-24; Colossians 1:15-20; Luke 7:28 - Sermon: Unified in Opposition - Sermon: Courage From and for the Gospel
Nov 01, 2020
Unified in Opposition
SUMMARY Do you remember the events of September 11, 2001? As our nation was under attack, we rallied together to fight against our enemies. As we continue studying the book of Philippians, JP teaches us that as Christians, we must have unity in opposition. KEY TAKEAWAYS - It’s imperative to understand that we have one enemy: Satan. He hates what’s happening at Harris Creek, and he doesn’t want it to go well for you. - Keep firm in the faith by being unified in conduct. - As Christians, our teammates are other Christians. Not people who share a team, political party, or zip code, but simply and only people who share a faith in Jesus Christ. - Keep firm in the faith by being unified in courage. - No one should be more courageous than Christians. We are immortal and we will live forever. We won’t die one second before God is done with us. - Keep firm in the faith by being unified against comfort. - The courage we need is the courage to suffer. Suffering is central to being a Christian. - "If your Christianity is comfortable, you should question your Christianity." -Costi Hinn - The greater your ability to be comfortable the more difficult it is to choose suffering. - The power to live out this unity comes from Jesus as we press closer and closer into Him. - America has had four Great Awakenings and based on the timeline of when they happened we are posed for a fifth. Are you ready? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES - Suggested Scripture study: Philippians 1:27-30; Acts 16:37-38; Romans 5:3-4; Philippians 2:1-2; 2 Timothy 1:7 - Sermon: Courage From and for the Gospel - Sermon: Growing a Love for People
Oct 25, 2020
Courage From and for the Gospel
SUMMARY Have you ever met someone who had courage? What are you most courageous about in life? As we continue studying the book of Philippians, JP teaches us about the courage we can have through Christ. KEY TAKEAWAYS - Encourage simply means to put courage in someone. As Christians, our courage should be in the gospel—the good news of Jesus. - We have become inoculated to Christianity. Meaning, we have received a little bit of it time and time again to where we are numb to what it really is and means for our lives. - Does talking about Jesus mark you? Do you view every opportunity as an opportunity to talk about Him? - Paul’s courage is contagious. - Harris Creek makes disciples. We are a factory, and we make missionaries to go serve in businesses, schools, coffee shops, and countries all over the world. - You can share the gospel with 100% confidence because one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. - Paul’s courage is confident in opposition. - Sadly, the church is often marked by disunity. People start to make Christianity about knowledge at the expense of love. What about you: Are you marked by knowledge, cynicism, and elitism, or love, joy, peace, and unity? - If these three things happened, which would excite you the most: Your team wins the national championship, your favorite restaurant/store comes to town, or someone comes to know Christ? - Paul’s courage comes from Christ. - The main reason we don’t share the gospel is that we lack faith. - We talk about what we care about. What do you care about? - “I would rather fail in a cause that would ultimately succeed than succeed in a cause that would ultimately fail.” -Woodrow Wilson MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES - Suggested Scripture study: Philippians 1:12-26 - Sermon: Growing a Love for People
Oct 18, 2020
Growing a Love for People
SUMMARY Do you ever look back on life to a season when you had a close group of friends? When you always had someone with you no matter what life threw your way? Do you want to have that today and in the days ahead? As we start our study on the book of Philippians, JP shows us how to grow our affections for others as he teaches through Philippians 1:1-11. KEY TAKEAWAYS - The first thing you are going to see out of the gate when reading Philippians is how much Paul loved the church at Philippi. - The gospel is more powerful than the sin of materialism and the power of demonic forces…it cannot be stopped. - One of the most common features—behind the gospel itself—of successful life groups is they embrace the fact that community is forged and not found. They understand that to have successful community you must learn to love one another. - Grow love for people by partnering with them in the gospel. - As a Christian, every relationship can be summed up in one of two groups: You are either partnered with them in making God known or you are partnered with God in helping them know Him. - If you want to grow affection for someone, be careful with your thoughts. What you think about them will shape how you feel toward them. - The memories you feed determine the emotions you feel. - Grow love for others by seeing them in a process. - You doubting that someone would respond to the gospel is not doubting them, it is doubting God. - Being frustrated with someone’s sanctification process—the process of them becoming more like Jesus—is like assuming their journey is already over. That God is already done with them. - If you are going to be naive about anything, be naive because you are so full of faith that God can change anyone. - When we come to know Jesus, sometimes God takes sin and struggles away immediately, and other times it it takes time and a journey to continue to become more like Jesus. - God is not naive to our sin, He’s just paid for it. - It’s one thing to tell someone you are praying for them, but it’s completely different to tell them what you are praying for them. - One of the most common reasons for conflict is simply a misunderstanding. - We are as divided as we are as a country because everyone is listening to their own feedback loop and simply trying to win arguments with people who have differing beliefs, rather than listening and seeking to understand why someone believes what they do. - Sharing the gospel with everyone you come in contact with is normative for a Christian. Compartmentalizing your faith to a time slot on Sunday is never what God had in mind. - Grow love for others by praying for them. - Your church are the people you gather with week in and week out as a life group, not a room full of people you don’t know when you gather corporately once a week. - How can you better partner with your life group to advance the gospel this week? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES - Suggested Scripture study: Philippians 1:1-11; Acts 16:11-40; Romans 8:30; 2 Corinthians 5:17 - Sermon: Community-Centered - Sermon: Missional
Oct 11, 2020
The Opportunity of Our Words
SUMMARY Have you ever heard someone who had a distinct accent? Where it was obvious they were from somewhere different than you? As we finish our series, Sticks and Stones, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches through Colossians 4:2-6, teaching us Christians should have their own “accent” based on the words they use. KEY TAKEAWAYS - As Christians, we should be known for how we use our words. - If you want to honor God with your words: Talk to God. - If you don’t emphasize prayer, you won’t utilize prayer. - You don’t just fall into a good prayer life. The way to develop a deep and intimate prayer life is by working at it! - If you want to honor God with your words: Talk about God. - Everyone has a message...what’s yours? What do you talk about the most? - If every word you spoke in the last week was printed out in a packet for a stranger to read, how long would it take for them to realize that you love Jesus? Would they read about the gospel? - If you want to honor God with your words: Be wise with your words. - Wisdom with our words can be summarized by knowing what to say and what not to say, and then when to speak and when not to speak. - Do you know what stands out when people are talking over each other and talking louder and louder? Silence. - When you meet with someone, try applying the 80/20 principle to your conversation: talk 20% of the time and listen 80% of the time. - If you want to honor God with your words: Be gracious with your words. - Do your words smell like the aroma of Christ? Do they tear others down or build others up? - The more time you spend in the presence of your Heavenly Father the more you will sound like Him. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES - Suggested Scripture study: Colossians 4:2-6; Proverbs 17:28; - Sermon: The Danger of Our Tongues - Sermon: The Weight of Our Words
Oct 04, 2020
The Danger of Our Tongues
SUMMARY Can you think of the last time you were hurt by someone else’s words? Every single one of us has been on the receiving end of hurtful words. As we continue our series, Sticks & Stones, Scott Kedersha teaches us about the tongue by teaching through James chapter 3. KEY TAKEAWAYS - The phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a horrendous lie. Words are extremely dangerous and can cause lifelong damage. - No one is perfect in their words...we all stumble, every single one of us. - The tongue is powerful. - The tongue is a small part of the body that has an abnormal influence relative to its size. - The tongue is destructive. - Our words—while they might seem like a small spark—can start a dangerous fire that can burn for a lifetime in someone’s memory. - The tongue is revealing. - The tongue reveals who we really are. It shows what is in our hearts. - What kind of words come out of your mouth? What do they reveal about who you are? - While the tongue is powerful, revealing, and destructive, it can also encourage and build others up! As Christians, we can and should use it for good. - When is the last time you went out of your way to encourage someone with your words? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES - Suggested Scripture study: James 3:1-12; Jeremiah 9:23-24; Ephesians 4:29 - Sermon: The Weight of Our Words
Sep 27, 2020
The Weight of Our Words
SUMMARY What if all the words you ever said were recorded? If you wore a microphone all the time? What would your words say about you? As we start a new series, Sticks & Stones, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches through Matthew 12:33-37, showing us how much God cares about our words. KEY TAKEAWAYS - When you are all alone your words show who you really are. - However great something’s potential for good is, equal is its potential for evil. - The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21). - What you plant is what will grow. - Your relationship with your words is similar to your relationship with your bank: you can only withdraw what you have deposited. - Apple seeds make apple trees, and orange seeds make orange trees...there are no exceptions. It’s no different with your heart and your words. What type of seeds are you planting? - You can’t fake what is growing in your heart. - God hears everything you say, so you are only fooling yourself if you think you can hide or fake anything. - Ask someone close to you what your words display about who you are. - There is a big difference between simply not sinning with your words and advancing the kingdom of God. - Put purpose behind your words. - Are you thoughtful about your words? Every single word you speak is an opportunity to speak with purpose. - If you are a parent, what words will your kids remember about you? - To put purpose behind your words, pray before you speak. - You will pay for what you say. - On the day you die and stand before God, what will your words say about you? It’s only through Christ’s death and resurrection that we are saved, but we will give an account for our words. - The most important words ever spoken were from Jesus: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Do you believe those words? MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES - Suggested Scripture study: Matthew 12:33-37; Proverbs 18:21 - Sermon: Words Matter
Sep 20, 2020
Part 4: The Authority to Bring Order & FAQs
SUMMARY God created the earth in the very first verse of the Bible. Do you know what He did immediately after that? As we finish our series, Conflicted, JP talks about our ability and authority as Christians, as well as answers the most common questions we received about conflict. KEY TAKEAWAYS - Ability and authority go hand in hand, and as Christians, we have both when it comes to handling conflict. - Here is the ability for how to handle conflict: See conflict as an opportunity, own your part, know conflict is pressing, overlook a small offense, clearly express your hurt, and when necessary, widen the circle. - Asking for forgiveness should be normative for Christians. - Knowing what to do is often not the problem. It’s the fact that we are scared and care too much about what others think about us. - Right after God created the earth itself, it was formless and empty, so He formed and filled it. - God made mankind in His image and commands us to fill the earth and “subdue it” or form it. - Genesis chapter 3 is the grand conflict in all of Scripture, and in the very same chapter, we see God provide the solution in Christ. - The church has authority given to us by the Father through Jesus which we live out in the Spirit. - Central to what it means to be a follower of Christ is to be a minister of reconciliation. With the authority God has given us comes a responsibility. - Christians are often the number one offenders in doing the very things God calls us to fight against: gossip, slander, cynicism, and reconciliation. - The Word of God is our conscience, authority, and guide. Q&A How do I handle conflict with someone who isn’t a Christian? - The opportunity in conflict with a non-believer is to share the gospel. - Love them, share the gospel, and make much of Jesus! How do I handle conflict with someone of the opposite sex? - The setting might change based on variables (married, single, family, etc.), but the process remains the exact same. What if I need time and space before resolving conflict? - This is very common language today, but we don’t see it in Scripture. - The Scriptures teach an urgency in dealing with conflict. Again, we don’t see time and space prescribed in Scripture. - It’s unloving to leave an open ended plan for when and how quickly you will meet to resolve conflict with someone. What if someone ghosts you? - Reach out and ask if you have offended them. - Never practice the process of conflict resolution over text message or email. Never. What is forgiveness? - To rightly understand forgiveness, we always have to start with Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. - Forgiveness in the Bible is a release or a dismissal of something. What if I’m not ready to forgive someone? - Go back and center your mind and heart on your trespass against a holy God. - Remind yourself how much God has forgiven you of. - This is a great chance to display and live out the gospel. What if the person who hurt you is your boss? - Are they a Christian? If yes, practice the process of conflict resolution. If no, share the gospel. - Don’t measure obedience by the outcome. Have an “even if” faith when it has to do with areas of obedience. Why have you said this might the most important series you will ever teach? - Conflict resolution is central to the Gospel. It is the gospel! - There is a separation of church/faith in our day that God never intended. We should take our faith with us in 100% of everything we do. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES - Suggested Scripture study: Genesis 1:1-2, 26-28; Genesis 3:16-19; Matthew 18:15-20; 2 Corinthians 15:14-19; Proverbs 26:4-5; Matthew 5:21-26 - Conflict Field Guide - Week 1, 2 & 3 of Conflicted
Sep 13, 2020
Part 3: Be Balanced Before You Go
SUMMARY Have you ever known the right thing to do but didn’t feel like doing it? Or maybe you did it, but it was begrudgingly and with the wrong heart? What posture should you take when pursuing conflict with others? As we continue our series, Conflicted, JP teaches us how to be balanced when dealing with conflict. KEY TAKEAWAYS - There are so many things that Christians are divided on...there are over 30,000 different denominations in America alone. - You don’t get to pick your biological family, and the same is true of Christianity; Christians are part of God’s family. - To summarize the last two weeks of our series, Conflicted: 1) Change your perspective, see conflict as an opportunity; 2) Own your part; 3) Know conflict is pressing; 4) Overlook a small offense; 5) Clearly communicate your hurt; and 6) Widen the circle. - “Worthy” in Ephesians 4:1-6 is from axios, which is where we get axel and axis. It is something that a structure balances on. Paul is calling us to live with a sense of balance. - Be balanced in attitude. - In conflict, are you more focused on winning and being right or resolving the conflict and seeking peace? - Our country is divided unlike few times in its history. As Christians, we all have a role to play...none of us are on the bench. - To be balanced in attitude in conflict is to be as humble as you possibly can. This type of humility does not come from striving but from surrendering. - Be balanced in effort. - This admonition from the text is not “let go let God,” it’s “Let God and let’s go!” - Christians have one and only one enemy: Satan. - Make no mistake, Satan is way stronger than you are. However, God is infinitely stronger than him. - To be balanced in effort is to fall fully into the strength of God. - Be balanced in unity. - You have more in common with any Christian—regardless of language, skin color, politics, etc.—than you do with any non-Christian. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES - Suggested Scripture study: Ephesians 4:1-6; 1 Peter 2:23; James 4:1; Ephesians 3:20; Colossians 1:29 - Conflict Field Guide - Week 1 & 2 of Conflicted
Sep 06, 2020
Part 2: Moving Through Hurts
SUMMARY Have you ever felt stuck in a relationship because of conflict? As we continue our series, Conflicted, JP teaches through Matthew 18:15-17, showing us how to overlook a small offense, clearly express our hurt, and widen the circle. KEY TAKEAWAYS - Whether you realize it or not, conflict affects every single relationship you have, and because God loves you, He has given you everything you need to get through it. - A healthier Harris Creek will have more conflict, not less. - Did you know that Jesus prayed for you? He prayed that you would live in unity with other Christians the same way He and the Father are unified. - As a summary of the first message in our series, Conflicted: See conflict as an opportunity; own your part; and, conflict is pressing...there is an urgency to it. - Overlook a small offense. - Are you more prone to peace-faking or peace-breaking? If faking, you probably need to pursue offenses more. If breaking, you probably need to overlook offenses more. - If you can’t overlook something, you should go address it with the person. - God in His kindness gave us three really clear steps for how to deal with conflict. - Clearly express your hurt. - When someone hurts you go and tell them: “You hurt me by _______”. - Three helpful questions to help you assess what’s going on in your heart are: How do I feel? What did the offense cost me? What am I asking for from them? - A crystal clear application of the first part of this Scripture is to go and talk to someone, just between the two of you. - The 24-hour rule: If someone talks to you about someone behind their back, give that person 24-hours to go tell the person they talked about, and if they don’t, go with them to talk to the person together. - God is in the business of putting things back together through His Son so that the world would see His Son. - Widen the circle. - Stay in the ring and don’t get out of the ring...only bring in others who are part of the problem or part of the solution. - Church discipline is helping people see their blind spots, protecting the flock from wolves, and helping members see their clear path to redemption. - Church discipline is not publicly shaming someone. It’s all about restoration and unity so that Christ may be more known. - Conflict is hard, yes. However, the cross was hard, and God loved us enough to go through with it so that we could be in a relationship with Him again. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES - Suggested Scripture study: Matthew 18:15-17; Ephesians 4:1-3; John 17:20-23; Proverbs 19:11 - Conflict Field Guide - Conflicted week 1
Aug 30, 2020
Part 1: Before The Explosion
SUMMARY Have you ever been angry with someone before? Had someone who was angry with you? As we start our new series, Conflicted, JP teaches through Matthew 5:21-26, teaching us to change our perspective, own our part, and understand that conflict is pressing. KEY TAKEAWAYS - The way we deal with anger and conflict is what we learned from our home. Are you open to learning a better way? - The first step to deal with conflict is to change your perspective - Conflict is an opportunity to glorify God, be sanctified, and deepen relationships. Avoiding it will not go well with you. - Those who belong to God are peace makers. Not peace fakers or breakers, but peace makers. - All healthy relationships are marked by conflict. Someone who says they never have conflict in relationships does not have real relationships. - When there is conflict in your life you should be marked by urgency to address it. - The second step to deal with conflict is to own your part. - If you are part of the conflict, you have a part in the conflict. - Don’t talk to someone about a problem if they aren’t part of the problem. Go talk to the person(s) that is part of the problem. - The worst part about blind spots is you can’t see them, and when you get angry, they get worse. - When seeking forgiveness, don’t simply apologize (“I’m sorry”) or command forgiveness (“Forgive me”), humble yourself and ASK for forgiveness: “Will you please forgive me for _________?” - Make no mistake, conflict is work. However, as ambassadors of reconciliation for Christ, it’s one of the most important things we do. - The third step to deal with conflict is to understand that conflict is pressing. - We cannot measure obedience by the outcome. We measure obedience by understanding what God says to do and then doing it. - Satan hates you, and one of his main agendas is to make you hate and be in conflict with other Christians. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES - Suggested Scripture study: Matthew 5:21-26; Matthew 7:3-5; Ephesians 4:2; Ephesians 4:26; Romans 12:18 - Conflict field guide
Aug 23, 2020
The Parable Of The Vineyard Workers
SUMMARY: Have you ever felt like life is unfair? Like you didn’t get something that you thought you deserved? As we continue our series, Summer of Stories, Nate Hilgenkamp teaches through the parable of the workers in the vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16. KEY TAKEAWAYS: Like many of His other parables, Jesus starts this one the same way: “The kingdom of heaven is like…” We don’t work to get saved into heaven, but once we are saved, we get to work for the Lord. “Can we be casual in the work of God—casual when the house is on fire, and people are in danger of being burned?” -Duncan Campbell If you are bored with Jesus it’s not because He’s gotten boring. Life in a fallen world doesn’t seem fair, and because we don’t fully understand God and His ways, He doesn’t appear fair either. The true wages of our efforts in life—our sin—is death. The landowner was trying to be as generous as He possibly could…exactly what God does for us. We don’t work in order to receive a reward, we work because we’ve already received our reward. Don’t miss God’s generosity because you are too busy comparing yourself to others. When you realize what God has done for you will be marked by gratitude and generosity. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES: Suggested Scripture study: Matthew 20:1-16; Ephesians 2:8-10; James 4:8; Romans 6:23; Psalm 103:8-12; Romans 5:6-8 Sermon: Life Leveraged for Treasure Blog: Is God Fair?
Aug 09, 2020
Life Leveraged For Treasure
Aug 02, 2020
The Forgiven Forgive
Jul 26, 2020
An Invitation To The Feast
Jul 19, 2020
The Parable of The Wheat and The Weeds
Jul 12, 2020
What To Do With What You Have
Jul 05, 2020
Just Ask
Jun 28, 2020
The Wise and Foolish Builders
Jun 21, 2020
The Dangers of Worldly Wealth
Jun 14, 2020
The Good Infection
Jun 07, 2020
God's Will For Your Life
May 31, 2020
Questions To Ask When Making Decisions
May 24, 2020
Led By the Spirit
May 17, 2020
A Different Leadership Opportunity
May 10, 2020
A Different Hope
May 03, 2020
A Different Person
Apr 26, 2020
A Different Church
Apr 19, 2020
Graves to Gardens
Apr 12, 2020
In His Hands
Apr 05, 2020
Mar 29, 2020
Not Forsaken
Mar 22, 2020
Jesus Is With You
Mar 15, 2020
Father, Forgive Them
Mar 08, 2020
Feb 23, 2020
Feb 16, 2020
Feb 09, 2020
Feb 02, 2020
Jan 26, 2020
Jan 19, 2020
Jan 12, 2020
Of One Mind
Jan 05, 2020
Who Is the Light of the World?
Dec 22, 2019
We Are the Light of the World
Dec 15, 2019
What The Light Does For Us
Dec 08, 2019
Light Over Darkness
Dec 01, 2019
Growing in Gratitude
Nov 24, 2019
Real Community
Nov 17, 2019
Real Parenting
Nov 10, 2019
Real Marriage
Nov 03, 2019
Cold Christianity
Oct 27, 2019
Peace From Heaven
Oct 20, 2019
Finding Rest
Oct 13, 2019
Peace of Mind
Oct 06, 2019
Pretending at the Expense of Peace
Sep 29, 2019
The Danger of Drift
Sep 22, 2019
Contend for the Faith
Sep 15, 2019
Who You Are in the Body
Sep 08, 2019
Who Are We?
Sep 01, 2019
Who Are You?
Aug 25, 2019
Healing and Help
Aug 18, 2019
Waiting On Relief
Aug 11, 2019
Faith on the Frontlines
Aug 04, 2019
Money Problems
Jul 28, 2019
Who Is In Control?
Jul 21, 2019
True Wisdom
Jul 14, 2019
Words Matter
Jul 07, 2019
Faith and Deeds
Jun 30, 2019
Hearing God
Jun 16, 2019
Strings Attached
Jun 09, 2019
Joy In Trials
Jun 02, 2019
How to Spend Your Life
May 26, 2019
May 19, 2019
Performing For Perfection
May 12, 2019
May 05, 2019
Apr 21, 2019
Sharing the Message of Lent
Apr 14, 2019
Judas Or Jesus
Apr 07, 2019
Shame On You
Mar 31, 2019
The Attitude of Lent
Mar 24, 2019
Mar 17, 2019
Rot To Righteousness
Mar 10, 2019
Momentum In Community
Mar 03, 2019
What Stops Momentum
Feb 24, 2019
Momentum of Prayer
Feb 17, 2019
Momentum of Faith
Feb 10, 2019
Momentum of the Church
Feb 03, 2019
Jan 27, 2019
Jan 20, 2019
Holding On
Jan 13, 2019
Stepping Out
Jan 06, 2019
The Kind of Faith That Saves
Dec 30, 2018
A Divine Announcement
Dec 24, 2018
Dec 23, 2018
Dec 16, 2018
Dec 09, 2018
Dec 02, 2018
Comparison & Contentment
Nov 25, 2018
Gospel-Driven Optimism
Nov 18, 2018
What Do I Do With My Doubts?
Nov 11, 2018
Resolving Conflict The Right Way
Nov 04, 2018
Obstacles To Opportunity
Oct 28, 2018
I Am He
Oct 21, 2018
Experiencing Freedom From Anxiety
Oct 14, 2018
The Turtle and The Tomb
Sep 30, 2018
When Life Is Disappointing
Sep 23, 2018
Jesus in the Middle
Sep 16, 2018
Experiencing Our Purpose
Sep 09, 2018
Wedding Gifts
Sep 02, 2018
Faith Over Fear
Aug 26, 2018
Who's In Control?
Aug 19, 2018
Window of Opportunity
Aug 12, 2018
How Big Is Your God?
Jul 29, 2018
Church Goals
Jul 22, 2018
Deliver Us From Safe
Jul 15, 2018
It's All About Grace
Jul 08, 2018
Life Without Regret
Jul 01, 2018
Treasure and a Life of Intention
Jun 24, 2018
Jun 17, 2018
Jun 10, 2018
Living for the Kingdom
Jun 03, 2018
May 27, 2018
May 20, 2018
May 13, 2018
Apr 29, 2018
God & Beauty
Apr 22, 2018
From the Mountain to the Valley
Apr 15, 2018
Enough with Comparison
Apr 08, 2018
This Changes Everything
Apr 01, 2018
Frenzied Faithfulness
Mar 25, 2018
Joy of the Lord
Mar 11, 2018
Leaning Full-On Toward the Margin
Mar 04, 2018
Hanging Out In The Market
Feb 25, 2018
Finding Ourselves On the Way
Feb 18, 2018
Spiritual Courage
Feb 11, 2018
A Vision of Transformation
Feb 04, 2018
Blessed to Be a Blessing
Jan 28, 2018
Making Disciples
Jan 21, 2018
The Cost of Complexity
Jan 14, 2018
The Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat
Jan 07, 2018
The Long Haul
Dec 31, 2017
The Shepherds
Dec 17, 2017
The Magi
Dec 10, 2017
Simeon and Anna
Dec 03, 2017
Sharing & Serving
Nov 26, 2017
Nov 19, 2017
Healing & Caring
Nov 12, 2017
Teaching & Learning
Nov 05, 2017
Lose Yourself
Oct 22, 2017
Addressing Elephants
Oct 15, 2017
Love and Grace
Oct 08, 2017
Unity in Diversity
Oct 01, 2017
Uncommon Grounds
Sep 24, 2017
Why Does It Matter?
Sep 17, 2017
What Is It?
Sep 10, 2017
Finish the Race
Sep 03, 2017
The Land Between
Aug 27, 2017
Pilgrim or Tourist
Aug 20, 2017
Engaging the Empire
Jul 30, 2017
Grasping the Empire
Jul 23, 2017
False Summits
Jul 16, 2017
Lessons Learned
Jul 09, 2017
Matthew 18:20
Jul 02, 2017
Romans 8:28
Jun 25, 2017
Philippians 4:13
Jun 18, 2017
Matthew 7:1
Jun 11, 2017
Jeremiah 29:11
Jun 04, 2017
Fill the Gap
May 28, 2017
May 21, 2017
May 14, 2017
May 07, 2017
Going All In With Jesus
Apr 23, 2017
From Now On
Apr 16, 2017
2.12 - The Transformation of My Soul
Apr 09, 2017
2.11 - The Transformation of My Body
Apr 02, 2017
2.10 - The Transformation of My Heart
Mar 26, 2017
2.9 - The Transformation of My Feelings
Mar 19, 2017
2.8 - The Transformation of My Thoughts
Mar 12, 2017
Under Pressure
Mar 05, 2017
2.7 - The Power to Change
Feb 26, 2017
2.6 - Becoming Your True Self
Feb 19, 2017
2.5 - True Self vs. False Self
Feb 12, 2017
2.4 - Self Worship vs. Self Denial
Feb 05, 2017
Living at Peace
Jan 29, 2017
2.3 - The Whole Me
Jan 22, 2017
2.2 - Who Am I?
Jan 15, 2017
2.1 - Why Am I Here?
Jan 08, 2017
The Fear of God
Jan 01, 2017
The New Ark
Dec 24, 2016
The Shepherd's Staff
Dec 18, 2016
Stone Table
Dec 11, 2016
Daily Bread
Dec 04, 2016
The Weight of Glory
Nov 27, 2016
1.9 - The Pattern of Transformation: Means
Nov 13, 2016
Telling the Gospel When Nobody's Listening
Nov 06, 2016
1.8 - The Pattern of Transformation: Intention
Oct 30, 2016
Whatever It Takes
Oct 16, 2016
1.7 - The Pattern of Transformation: Vision
Oct 16, 2016
1.6 - The Price of Apprenticeship: The Cruciformed Life
Oct 09, 2016
1.3 - God's Agenda
Sep 18, 2016
1.2 - Knowing God
Sep 11, 2016
1.1 - An Overview of Spiritual Formation
Sep 04, 2016
A House
Aug 28, 2016
A Tree
Aug 21, 2016
The Enemy Has Been Defeated
Aug 07, 2016
Accommodation and Resistance
Jul 31, 2016
A Sleepless Night
Jul 24, 2016
The Love of a Father
Jul 17, 2016
The Writing on the Wall
Jul 10, 2016
Look Up
Jul 03, 2016
Even Pagans Do That
Jun 26, 2016
Courage in Chaos
Jun 19, 2016
Clarity in Chaos
Jun 12, 2016
Calmness in Chaos
Jun 05, 2016
The Bread We Eat
May 29, 2016
In Babylon
May 22, 2016
Building Through Adversity
May 15, 2016
The Night is Coming
May 08, 2016
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Apr 24, 2016
Apr 17, 2016
Inside Out
Apr 10, 2016
From the Ground Up
Mar 27, 2016
Grapes of Wrath
Mar 25, 2016
Donkeys vs. Horses
Mar 20, 2016
A Gift and A Skill
Mar 13, 2016
Paper Tigers
Mar 06, 2016
Children of Promise
Feb 28, 2016
Born From Experience
Feb 21, 2016
Those Dirty Gentiles
Feb 14, 2016
One Gospel
Feb 07, 2016
Leaders Eat Last
Jan 31, 2016
Shrink the Change
Jan 24, 2016
Difficult People
Jan 17, 2016
The First Step
Jan 10, 2016
A Fresh Expression
Jan 03, 2016
By Every Word
Dec 27, 2015
Let Earth Receive Her King
Dec 20, 2015
Far As The Curse Is Found
Dec 13, 2015
His Blessings Flow
Dec 06, 2015
Heaven and Nature Sing
Nov 29, 2015
Making Everything New
Nov 22, 2015
All In
Nov 15, 2015
Renewing Ruined Cities
Nov 01, 2015
Never Before
Oct 25, 2015
Beginning the Journey
Oct 18, 2015
Navigating The Heart
Oct 11, 2015
Practice Resurrection
Oct 04, 2015
The Eclipse of Heaven
Sep 27, 2015
Resurrection of the Dead
Sep 20, 2015
Sep 13, 2015
Sep 06, 2015
Aug 30, 2015
Aug 23, 2015
Proper Perspective
Aug 16, 2015
The Ripple Effect
Aug 09, 2015
Redeeming Power
Aug 02, 2015
Facing the Past
Jul 26, 2015
It Takes a Village
Jul 12, 2015
Jul 05, 2015
Breaking Rules
Jun 28, 2015
A Parent's Perspective
Jun 21, 2015
Flourishing in the Desert
Jun 14, 2015
The Waiting Room
Jun 07, 2015
In Good Hands
May 31, 2015
The Colors God Uses
May 24, 2015
A Disruptive Dream
May 17, 2015
The Theory Of Everything
May 03, 2015
Apr 26, 2015
Apr 19, 2015
Slow Burn
Apr 12, 2015
The Resurrection and the Life
Apr 05, 2015
The Sheep Gate
Mar 29, 2015
The Vine
Mar 22, 2015
The Way, The Truth, The Life
Mar 15, 2015
The Light of the World
Mar 08, 2015
The Bread of Life
Mar 01, 2015
Feb 22, 2015
Feb 15, 2015
Feb 08, 2015
Feb 01, 2015
Jan 25, 2015
Backstage Living
Jan 04, 2015
Flesh Is Redeemed
Dec 21, 2014
God is Supreme
Dec 14, 2014
God is Revealed
Dec 07, 2014
The Great Invasion