The first letter to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 praises the Ephesian church for its dutiful service, but then calls them out for somehow letting their focus change to just doing “church” rather than their love relationships with each other and with God. It’s this attitude that is so common today: that love can be earned or bought. Message delivered 7/26/09. (Technical problems prevented recording Part 2, which explored this same issue.)
The letters to the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 are often thought to be mysterious and etherial, but they contain solid, pratical instruction in God’s war against the self-serving, me-first attitude that pervades our culture today. In the first letter, to the church at Ephesus, Jesus reveals how easily God’s priority in our lives — loving Him — gets misinterpreted into doing things for Him. Message delivered 7/12/09.
Kevin Harvey, regional director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and chaplain of the Philadelphia 76ers, draws lessons from Acts 4:13 about courage, supernatural ability, and the recognizable way we are changed when we’ve been with Jesus. Message delivered 6/21/2009.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” So how can we break out of the box of law and religious rules? As Paul told the Philippians: “I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.” Message delivered 6/14/09.
Jesus told his listeners, “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world” in the Sermon on the Mount. But our saltiness is worthless unless it is added to the world to season and preserve, our light is wasted if it’s hidden. Message delivered 6/7/09.
In Moses’ encounter with God in Exodus 3, the Lord said eight things crucial to Moses then and to the church today. Former pastor Tom Brazell then follows up on that lesson with observations on why, if we know God’s will, we don’t do it. Delivered 5/31/2009.
Jesus says that if the character traits identified in the first seven of the Beatitudes (in Matthew 5) are active in your life, he guarantees you will come under persecution. Because if these things are working in your life, people you interact with are going to have to make a decision.
Here’s a link to the video shown at the beginning of the message.
Christians are called to be peace-makers in the church and the community: not trouble-makers! Peacemaking is a divine work that comes from a humble, gentle sergant’s heart, being spirit-led in how we approach our relationships. Message delivered 5/17/2009.
Purity of heart, layered on top of being merciful, is key to being in proper relationship with others. Message delivered 5/3/2009.