Upside Down Kingdom
Clothed with Christ • December 30, 2018 • Dirk Duhlstine
God says: 1. If you want to be great… be a servant 2. To find yourself…you must die to yourself 3. To get back at your enemy…you should love him 4. To become rich… give money away God's kingdom is an upside down kingdom! When we clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and love…which is clothing ourselves with the person and nature of Christ...we’re clothing ourselves for battle.
Words Create Worlds
December 23, 2018 • Graeme Sellers
Our words create worlds. The words we speak shape and create world we live in. Words have always created worlds. It’s true. How was our world made? Words. Ten times in the creation account of Genesis 1 we read this: “And God said…” Their impact is captured in Genesis 2:1 “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.” Gen. 1:28 reports that we are made in God’s image, so why should it surprise us that our words have creative power as well? God would urge us to listen to ourselves, to pay attention to the words we speak and the worlds they create.
What's the Point?
December 16, 2018 • Graeme Sellers
What’s the point of this – the Sunday morning church gathering that is, for many of us, a regular part of our lives? What if the point isn’t what we think it is, or is more than we imagined it is? God isn’t afraid of honest inquiry or the fierce conversation, and the answers to this question may surprise and delight us!
Let Me Tell You a Story
December 2, 2018 • Graeme Sellers
This Bible is not an advanced ethics textbook. It is not a rule book for religious people. It is not a compendium of philosophy and life principles. Rather, it is our family history. Within its pages we learn about our Father and what it means that we are His sons and daughters. Within its pages the truth begins to dawn us: our life story only makes sense in God’s story. That’s why everything we’ve pursued that wasn’t Him ultimately left us empty and disappointed. It’s this story, his story, that tells us we belong. And belonging—as sons and daughters—is what sets apart followers of Jesus.
The Secret of Life
November 25, 2018 • Graeme Sellers
The foundational philosophical conviction of the entire New Testament is this: if we will come into an understanding about Jesus Christ —who he is and what he has achieved — everything else will fall into place. Science has its place, politics has its place, material possessions have their place—but that place is not first place. So we are directed to Truth – not as a concept, but as a Person who is the center and starting point for all things. The world’s blindness is this: the belief that something more or other than Jesus will result in full satisfaction.
At the Scent of Rain
November 18, 2018 • Graeme Sellers
This is what hope and encouragement from the Lord do: they fall like rain on those who feel it is useless and too late and all over. And so the scent of rain comes to those who are dead, dry, dying – a mere stump, a gnarled fist of brittle roots. So it comes to Hannah, dead in the womb, dead in heart, dead in her hope. So it comes to all of us who fear we’ve been overlooked, undone, and left to decay. The scent of rain can come in the unlikeliest times and from the unlikeliest people.
Fighting the Fear That You Won’t Have Enough
November 11, 2018 • Graeme Sellers
Some of us find ourselves in an extremely narrow place, a place so thin we can’t quite see how we’re going to make it through. That’s hard enough. But when it seems like it’s been that way forever and will always be that way, then we’re in real trouble. Because then we have come under the domination of the spirit of poverty. Spirit of poverty isn’t the state of not having enough; it’s the fear that you won’t have enough. Ever. As believers we've been given tools to fight and defeat this fear.
How Does It Look to You?
November 10, 2019 • Graeme Sellers
We need to stop complaining about and cursing the place of our assignment. Instead, we need to get God’s perspective on our present assignment and circumstances. How do we know that the place we’re at isn’t in fact a gate of heaven? We cannot trust our own eyes or perceptions. This is why God asks, “How does it look to you?” It is an invitation to look again, from heaven’s point of view. We don't know what we think we know! God’s estimate of things is very different from ours.
Love Is a Declaration of War
November 4, 2018 • Graeme Sellers
When God identifies the absolute most important thing in all the world, love’s where he lands. 1 Corinthians 13:13 “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” Love. Miss it and nothing else we’ve gotten matters Of course, there will always be someone objecting, “There’s more to it than love. There’s got to be more.” Probably so. Certainly so. There is something more. But there is nothing better. Most of our problems can be traced back to this: we inevitably go for the something more before being established in the nothing better—and then we wonder why our life seems so dry and exhausting.
The Night I Had a Beer with Elvis
And Why Zacchaeus Could Relate • November 3, 2019 • Graeme Sellers
In the New Testament lost does not mean damned or doomed. It simply means in the wrong place. This is what happens with Zacchaeus, whose name means “righteous one” or “pure.” The chief tax collector was not living up to his name. He was in the wrong place, not aligned with his true name or identity. But when Jesus finds him, Zacchaeus goes from being in the wrong place to being in the right place: a son in the household and the family of his Father.
The Man Who Knew What His Problem Was
October 28, 2018 • Graeme Sellers
The raucous crowd on the road to Jerusalem with Jesus hear blind Bartimaeus cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Contrast this with James & John’s request for the places of highest honor. They promote their own worthiness for glory, but Bartimaeus recognizes his need. Unlike the Sons of Thunder, he knows what his problem is. God’s upside-down kingdom needs inside-out people. The kingdom needs people who will turn themselves "inside-out" by being their unvarnished, unfiltered, genuine selves, not only with their brothers and sisters but also with God.
The Upside Down Kingdom
October 21, 2018 • Graeme Sellers
Jesus invites us into the good life: into an existence drenched with the goodness of the Father. However, this does not equate to a life of unending success and personal satisfaction. For those who follow him he predicts family conflict, fractured friendships, false accusations, costly obedience, and death. But for all that, the life he offers is good, for it is centered in the very heart of God and filled with God's superabundant love. Jesus’ way turns the values of the world upside down. He rejects the very things we’re trained and instinctively geared to want: prestige, power, and position.
From Pharisee to Tax Collector
October 27, 2019 • David Hammerslag
It is the state of our souls, not our words or actions that justify us before God, and in Jesus' famous parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, the Pharisee’s central problem is that he does not know his own heart. He trusts in his own righteousness and is too easily critical of others. How do we know ourselves truly? We can only really know ourselves in community. But as long as we don't risk relationship, we can sell ourselves all kinds of false ideas of what we're really like while ignoring the magnitude of our narcissism.
Tithe & See
October 14, 2018 • Graeme Sellers
In Mark 10:17-31, Jesus speak of wealth. His is not an anti-money teaching, though it might seem to be at first glance. Rather it is an examination of money’s mega-hold on us, with the upshot being this: the more of it we have the stronger its hold on us. The Bible offers us a prescription for breaking money’s mega-hold, though it’s not a popular one: tithing. Some fear preaching about money—is it too offensive?—but we love it for we have discovered this: • God’s promises regarding tithing are unprecedented • So many of us are in bondage! When Father’s heart is expressed in this area, people get set free There are many reasons Christians don’t tithe, including: • Some of us don’t know we’re supposed to • Some of us don’t believe we can afford to • Some think we don’t have to because we’re under grace, not the Law
The Possibilities of Offensively Bold Prayer
October 20, 2019 • Graeme Sellers
What might God be up to in calling Wonderful Mercy to be a house of prayer? One answer: to be a church and a people who pray through our problems straight into his purposes and promises. Praying through our problems means praying through delay, disappointment, and disillusionment. Consider the prophetic word God gave us for the year: deeper. Praying like that can’t help but take us deeper into Father’s heart!
A Walking Resurrection
October 7, 2018 • Lindsay Elizabeth
What do we do when God delays? Do we allow life and disappointment and pain to dictate what we believe? How does Jesus respond to our pain? Do we believe in the Jesus who not only saves our souls but who also wants to enter into our today and transform the dead places in our lives with His resurrection power? Will we let Jesus roll the stone away from our tombs? We explore these questions in John 11:17-44 with an in-depth look at the story of Lazarus. In this story, the sisters of Lazarus face the reality that while they believe Jesus could have stopped the death of their brother, they do not believe that He can change the death. Jesus shows us that resurrection is not an event, it is a person.
God’s Welfare Program
Seeking the Peace and Prosperity of the City • October 13, 2019 • Graeme Sellers
When the church comes together in unity and begins to pray for the kingdom to come and God’s will to be done, and when we pray intentionally and specifically for what we are believing for, there are mighty answers that happen. Thus, the question: what should we pray for together? Here’s one possibility: our city. We believe the Father wants us to embrace this invitation to corporate prayer as an aspect of our calling as a house of prayer.
The Love of God
October 6, 2019 • Danny Mullins
A Hebrew poet summarized the excellence and sweetness of life with God this way: "Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life." (Ps. 23:6, Message) In today's message we hear a fascinating story of one man's firsthand experience with the love of God.
A House of Healing
September 30, 2018 • Graeme Sellers & Dave Bishop
We—the Church—are to be a house of healing: physically, emotionally, spiritually. Jesus came to bring healing at every level of our being, as Luke makes clear in Acts 10:38. “[You know] how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and curing all who were under the tyranny of the Devil, because God was with Him.” (HCSB) This healing ministry is central to gospel, not a side issue. Unfortunately, it has been anything but central in many of our churches. How can this vital ministry of Christ be recovered and experienced today? Listen and find out!
Money—What’s the Problem?
September 29, 2019 • Graeme Sellers
Anglican bishop N.T. Wright contends, “Never before have so many people tripped over one another in their eagerness to get rich and thereby impaled themselves on the consequences of their own greed.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with having more money, being able to pay off debt and meeting reasonable financial obligations. The Bible doesn’t have a low view of money; neither does it have as high a view of it as we do. The Bible would simply tell us this: if you look to money as the big fix, you will be disappointed. Why? Because it’s not eternal and you were made for eternity.