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Narrow V. Wide Path

July 28, 2019 • Matt Howe

In His closing, Jesus is exhorting the people to enter the kingdom of heaven through the narrow gate. The gate to heaven is narrow in the sense of having a particular requirement for entrance—faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is found only in the Person of Jesus Christ; He is the only way. The wide gate, which leads to destruction not life, is non-exclusive; it allows for human effort and all other of the world’s religions. Jesus says that the narrow gate will take us through hardships and difficult decisions. Following Jesus requires crucifying our flesh, living by faith, and living a lifestyle separate from the world; it requires that we allow God to reign in our hearts allowing us to do His will and not ours

Narrow V. Wide Path

July 28, 2019 • Mark Putman

In His closing, Jesus is exhorting the people to enter the kingdom of heaven through the narrow gate. The gate to heaven is narrow in the sense of having a particular requirement for entrance—faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is found only in the Person of Jesus Christ; He is the only way. The wide gate, which leads to destruction not life, is non-exclusive; it allows for human effort and all other of the world’s religions. Jesus says that the narrow gate will take us through hardships and difficult decisions. Following Jesus requires crucifying our flesh, living by faith, and living a lifestyle separate from the world; it requires that we allow God to reign in our hearts allowing us to do His will and not ours

Judging

July 21, 2019 • Mark Rowland

Jesus does not mean that we should never make judgments. Obviously, we make judgments every day. We judge between right and wrong, dangerous choices from safe ones, etc. Jesus is cautioning us not to judge others in a self-righteous, hypocritical way. We shouldn’t be habitually critical of someone when our own sin needs correcting as well. By judging others in an unbiblical and hypocritical way, we pay an enormous price. Ridiculing others exposes us to the righteous judgment of God, and most of us are not really aware that we bring more suffering on ourselves by our complaints against one another. Judging and accusing is what Satan does.

Judging

July 21, 2019 • Matt Howe

Jesus does not mean that we should never make judgments. Obviously, we make judgments every day. We judge between right and wrong, dangerous choices from safe ones, etc. Jesus is cautioning us not to judge others in a self-righteous, hypocritical way. We shouldn’t be habitually critical of someone when our own sin needs correcting as well. By judging others in an unbiblical and hypocritical way, we pay an enormous price. Ridiculing others exposes us to the righteous judgment of God, and most of us are not really aware that we bring more suffering on ourselves by our complaints against one another. Judging and accusing is what Satan does.

Anxiety

July 14, 2019 • Mark Putman

We all struggle with worry and anxiety—some with more depth of despair than others. The simple truth is the more we worry, the more we worry. Jesus starts addressing this issue by telling us to not let anxiety about food and clothing distract us from more important things in life. We cannot affect anything by worrying, and it does us no good. Jesus recognizes the very real struggle most of us have with anxiety and worry. He not only encourages us not to be anxious, but He gives us an antidote to the worry, stress, and anxiety that we all face: seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Anxiety

July 14, 2019 • Mark Rowland

We all struggle with worry and anxiety—some with more depth of despair than others. The simple truth is the more we worry, the more we worry. Jesus starts addressing this issue by telling us to not let anxiety about food and clothing distract us from more important things in life. We cannot affect anything by worrying, and it does us no good. Jesus recognizes the very real struggle most of us have with anxiety and worry. He not only encourages us not to be anxious, but He gives us an antidote to the worry, stress, and anxiety that we all face: seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Treasure In Heaven

July 7, 2019 • Jonathan Kollmann

In this part of Jesus’ sermon we learn that we must have our priorities concerning material things properly aligned if our relationship with God is going to be what it should. If your focus or “your eye” is on treasures on earth, your heart will experience great disappointment because the things in which you find your joy will not last. The enemy wants us to be consumed with earthly things, whether it be material possessions or internal issues like praise of men. He wants to steal our joy and peace. But, if you are storing up treasure in heaven, meaning you are living for God’s glory and the good of others, whatever happens on earth will not devastate you

Treasure In Heaven

July 7, 2019 • Mark Rowland

In this part of Jesus’ sermon we learn that we must have our priorities concerning material things properly aligned if our relationship with God is going to be what it should. If your focus or “your eye” is on treasures on earth, your heart will experience great disappointment because the things in which you find your joy will not last. The enemy wants us to be consumed with earthly things, whether it be material possessions or internal issues like praise of men. He wants to steal our joy and peace. But, if you are storing up treasure in heaven, meaning you are living for God’s glory and the good of others, whatever happens on earth will not devastate you

Prayer & Fasting

June 30, 2019 • Mark Putman

We know that prayer is a powerful and necessary spiritual discipline. Jesus, Who modeled that prayer is of the utmost importance, teaches that the manner in which we pray can be more important than what we say when we pray. Jesus gives us elements of proper prayer that include: praying in secret, avoiding vain repetition, patterning after His example, and offering prayer with a merciful and forgiving spirit. Fasting is another discipline that Jesus addresses. Jesus Himself practiced this discipline and talks about it as something we are to do. We are to approach fasting in the same manner as prayer

Prayer & Fasting

June 30, 2019 • Jonathan Kollmann

We know that prayer is a powerful and necessary spiritual discipline. Jesus, Who modeled that prayer is of the utmost importance, teaches that the manner in which we pray can be more important than what we say when we pray. Jesus gives us elements of proper prayer that include: praying in secret, avoiding vain repetition, patterning after His example, and offering prayer with a merciful and forgiving spirit. Fasting is another discipline that Jesus addresses. Jesus Himself practiced this discipline and talks about it as something we are to do. We are to approach fasting in the same manner as prayer

Rebuilding the Walls

March 1, 2020 • Mark Rowland

The biblical figures of Ezra and Nehemiah are not the most popular or well-known. Years after the first group returned to rebuild the temple, another group returned under the leadership of Ezra, a priest and Bible scholar who was passionate about God and His Word. Ezra would do everything in his power to lead the Israelites into a new era of devotion to their God. After that, a final group returned under Nehemiah, who desired to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. He led the people to do so despite the fearful tactics of their enemies to derail and stop the project. Ezra and Nehemiah were reformers who were determined not to allow this reemerging but fledgling nation to fall back into her old ways.

Hypocritical Generosity

June 23, 2019 • Mark Putman

We heard Jesus say earlier in His sermon, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Now Jesus is saying that our giving should be done in secret. Jesus is not contradicting Himself, but is addressing a different matter—the matter of the heart. He is addressing hypocrisy and phoniness in regard to righteousness. It is proper to do good works before men when we are trying to secure praise for God, but not when we are trying to secure praise for ourselves. If, in the innermost being of your heart, you do not mean to please and glorify God, your reward will be limited to the praise of men, not of God.

Hypocritical Generosity

June 23, 2019 • Matt Howe

We heard Jesus say earlier in His sermon, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Now Jesus is saying that our giving should be done in secret. Jesus is not contradicting Himself, but is addressing a different matter—the matter of the heart. He is addressing hypocrisy and phoniness in regard to righteousness. It is proper to do good works before men when we are trying to secure praise for God, but not when we are trying to secure praise for ourselves. If, in the innermost being of your heart, you do not mean to please and glorify God, your reward will be limited to the praise of men, not of God.

Rebuilding the Walls

March 1, 2020 • Jonathan Kollmann

The biblical figures of Ezra and Nehemiah are not the most popular or well-known. Years after the first group returned to rebuild the temple, another group returned under the leadership of Ezra, a priest and Bible scholar who was passionate about God and His Word. Ezra would do everything in his power to lead the Israelites into a new era of devotion to their God. After that, a final group returned under Nehemiah, who desired to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. He led the people to do so despite the fearful tactics of their enemies to derail and stop the project. Ezra and Nehemiah were reformers who were determined not to allow this reemerging but fledgling nation to fall back into her old ways.

Week 9-Spiritual War Zone Tactics

October 18, 2015 • Mark Rowland

Putting on the armor of God

Week 8- Living the Christian Lilfe in Relationships

Contemporary • October 11, 2015 • Matt Howe

Queen of Beauty & Courage

February 23, 2020 • Jonathan Kollmann

Fifty years after the first group of exiles returned to Jerusalem, the majority of Israelites remained scattered throughout the Persian Empire, and many lived in the capital city of Susa, including a woman name Esther. Esther, an orphan who was raised by her righteous cousin Mordecai, eventually won favor with the king, becoming queen. In the story of Esther, we see how God works behind the scene to fulfill His promises and grand purpose; even when we cannot see God working, He is. God is in control, working all things out for the good. We also learn from the bravery and courage of Esther. Sometimes we must stand in courage, even when it is not popular to do so, and risk it all.

Queen of Beauty & Courage

February 23, 2020 • Mark Putman

Fifty years after the first group of exiles returned to Jerusalem, the majority of Israelites remained scattered throughout the Persian Empire, and many lived in the capital city of Susa, including a woman name Esther. Esther, an orphan who was raised by her righteous cousin Mordecai, eventually won favor with the king, becoming queen. In the story of Esther, we see how God works behind the scene to fulfill His promises and grand purpose; even when we cannot see God working, He is. God is in control, working all things out for the good. We also learn from the bravery and courage of Esther. Sometimes we must stand in courage, even when it is not popular to do so, and risk it all.

Week 8-Living Christian Life in Relationships

Traditional • October 11, 2015 • Mark Putman

What Difference Does Easter Make

April 21, 2019 • Matt Howe

Holy Week is the most important week in the Church year. It is a time when we celebrate in a special way the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We remember His actions, reflect on His messages, and recommit to living as His disciples in the world today. We will use the readings from Luke this week as we prepare for Easter.

Paul's Reason for Writing

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