Don't Be Surprised!

May 28, 2023 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Jude 12–19

From time to time churches have to contend with unfaithful people who depart from the faith and influence others to join them. It happened in Jude's day and it happens in ours. The Bible clearly tells us that such people will arise in every generation. We need not be surprised but always ready to stand firm and contend for the true faith delivered to us from God in His Word.

Living Under God's Authority

May 21, 2023 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Jude 5–11

This is an intriguing and challenging passage. At the heart of it is the question of whose authority directs our lives. Certain people in the church to which Jude wrote were following the wrong authority with disastrous results. We must beware of such people and make sure that our lives are directed by God's authority.

Contend for the Faith

May 14, 2023 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Jude 3–4

The truth God has entrusted to His church is our foundation, anchor, and treasure. We must not only hold it fast but be ready to contend for it within the life of the church against those who would lead us to depart from it.

Remember Who You Are

May 7, 2023 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Jude 1–2

I'm beginning a five-week series through the often-overlooked book of Jude. This short letter contains some wonderful encouragement and needed warning for us. The opening verses contain the typical identification of the author, readers, and a greeting like we find in most of the New Testament letters. This is a rich opening that reminds us of who we are and what we have as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hearing Check

March 26, 2023 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Luke 8:4–15

Through a parable, Jesus taught there are different kinds of hearers of God's Word, and each kind of hearer experiences vastly different results. It challenges us to consider what kind of hearer we are and how we can become a better hearer so that God's Word brings forth much fruit in our lives.

Sharing Hope from the Middle

March 19, 2023 • Dr. Steve Vernon • Mark 10:46–52

Guest Speaker: Dr. Steve Vernon This Sunday, my friend Dr. Steve Vernon will be preaching. Dr. Vernon is the Director of Church Relations for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Prior to serving at UMHB, he was the Associate Executive Director of our Texas Baptist Convention and before that he pastored a church in Levelland, Texas.

A Living Sacrifice

March 12, 2023 • Garrett Hager • Romans 1:1–2

Garrett Hager ~ Minister of Discipleship In this passage, the apostle Paul urges believers to offer their lives as living sacrifices. When we consider the many mercies of God, this is not only our reasonable response but our true worship. To do this, we must no longer be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us to renew our minds to show us what is God's good, pleasing, and perfect will. 

Eager for the Gospel

March 5, 2023 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Romans 1:13–17

In this passage, the apostle Paul describes his commitment and attitude toward sharing the gospel of Jesus. As those who have received the benefit of the gospel, we now have the calling and privilege to share it with others. This Scripture helps us understand and undertake this great mission as God's people today.

New Life in Christ

February 26, 2023 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Romans 6:1–14

When we are redeemed through the blood of Christ and made right with God through faith in Jesus, we are not the same old person with a second chance. The Bible says we are new persons with new life in Christ. We have a new power through Christ so that we not only experience forgiveness of sin but we have power to live in victory over sin.

The Heart of the Gospel

February 19, 2023 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Romans 3:19–26

In our Elevate series, we are looking at the bigger picture of the Gospel from the creation to the second coming. This Sunday we come to what we most likely think about when we hear the word Gospel. God’s work to save us through Christ is the very heart of the Gospel. We share it often in very simple terms but this text takes us deep into understanding the wonder of what God has done for us in Christ.

God's Promise

February 12, 2023 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Romans 1:1–6

Before sin entered the world through Adam, God had the plan to save sinners. Throughout the pages of the Old Testament, we find God's promise of a Savior repeated and expanded. The Gospel was not a new innovation that arrived with the New Testament. God long planned it, prepared for it, and promised it! We can trust, celebrate, and experience His great faithfulness to keep the most extraordinary promise ever made.

The Law and Righteousness

February 5, 2023 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Romans 7:12, Romans 2:13, Romans 3:9–20

God gave His law to Israel to guide them in the kind of holy living that was required for a people in relationship with the Holy God. This law recorded for us in Holy Scripture reveals the righteous requirements of God. We'll look at several key truths about God's law and how it relates to our lives and relationship with God.

Wonderful and Flawed

January 29, 2023 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Psalm 139:13–16, Psalm 51:4–5, Romans 5:12

In these two passages from the Psalms, David declared both that he is wonderfully made and that he is thoroughly sinful. This is true about each one of us. We are at the same time both God's amazing creation and a person deeply flawed by sin. Our understanding of the Gospel begins with these two truths.

Real Hope in Hard Times

January 22, 2023 • Mark Kemp • Psalms 42—43

The writer of these two psalms expressed a real struggle with deep despair. In these Spirit-inspired words of Scripture, we find hope and help for our own times of struggle. Even when God seems far off, He is near and He will help us. But we have to keep ourselves pointed toward Him.

The Believer and the World

January 15, 2023 • Dr. Mark Kemp • John 17:6–19

Jesus prayed for His disciples on the evening before His crucifixion. As He was preparing to leave the world, He prayed for the Father to enable those who believed in Him to live faithfully in the world. This prayer reveals how we too as the current generation of believers in Christ are to live in the world.

Extraordinary Love

January 8, 2023 • mark k • Matthew 5:43–48

The love of God is extraordinary and Christ calls those of us who follow Him to express this extraordinary love to others--even to those who are hardest for us to love. As a church, we emphasize that part of our mission is to love the world. This teaching of Jesus adds a new and challenging dimension to this call to love. But by God's grace we can do it!

A Song of Fulfillment

December 25, 2022 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Luke 2:25–35

A devout man named Simeon held the Christ child in his arms and praised God for fulfilling His promise. On this Christmas Day, we also can praise God for the fulfillment of His great promise in the coming of Christ to save us.

The Song of Adoration

December 18, 2022 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Luke 2:10–14

The angels sang of the glory of God to humble shepherds on the night of Christ's birth. Their brief song extols the glory of God and His gift of peace to people through the child born in Bethlehem's manger--God's holy Son. Jesus is the bridge between the glorious God in the highest heavens and the sinful people of earth. God's favor in Christ to us is the incredible gift of Christmas.

A Song of Joy

December 11, 2022 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Luke 1:46–55

This song of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is commonly called the Magnificat because of the first line, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” It is a song of rejoicing in God’s favor shown to Mary by choosing her to be the human mother through whom the Messiah would enter the world. It is also a son of rejoicing in God’s favor shown to all who humbly receive the salvation this child will provide. There is great joy for us when we humbly receive Jesus and the mighty work of God through Him.

A Song of Preparation

December 4, 2022 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Luke 1:67–79

This song of Christmas was sung by Zechariah following the birth of his son John. John was appointed by God to prepare the way for Jesus, to help people prepare their hearts to receive Jesus. Prepared hearts were needed then and now to experience the fullness of God's salvation and presence in our lives day by day.

The Song of Hope

November 27, 2022 • Dr. Mark Kemp • Isaiah 9:1–7

Our first Song of Christmas is a prophetic song that was first sung eight centuries before Christ was born in Bethlehem. It is a song from God for His people living in dark times. It pointed them forward to the coming Hope embodied in a child who would be born and reign as King. Darkness is a good way to describe so much that is happening in our world today. The hope this song declares is for us too. God has been faithful and He will be faithful therefore we can always look forward with hope when we are trusting in Him, even in the darkest times.