7 Deadly Sins of Suburbia

Sermon Series


February 27, 2022 • Jonathan Pokluda • 1 John 2:15–17, Genesis 3:6, Matthew 6:24, James 4:4, Philippians 3:18–20

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

Anger From Unforgiveness

February 20, 2022 • Jonathan Pokluda • Micah 7:18, Matthew 18:21–35, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Romans 14:23, Isaiah 53:10

1) God's anger toward you was satisfied 2) Forgiven people are forgiving people 3) Your forgiveness demonstrates God's forgiveness 


February 13, 2022 • Nate Hilgenkamp • John 17:20–23, Genesis 3:4–5, Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 18:8, Romans 1:29–30

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


February 6, 2022 • Nate Hilgenkamp • Luke 18:9–14, Exodus 20:17, Genesis 4, Luke 9:46, Isaiah 6:5

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


January 30, 2022 • Jonathan Pokluda • Hebrews 5—6, 1 Timothy 4:7–8, 2 Timothy 2:2

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


January 23, 2022 • Jonathan Pokluda • Luke 14, Philippians 2:3, 1 Peter 5:5, James 4:10, Luke 13:30

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


January 9, 2022 • Jonathan Pokluda • Luke 10:38–42

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