Dec 7, 2014
Neighbors in Need
Series: Who Is Jesus
Jesus surprised everyone in the crowd when he shared the Parable of the Good Samaritan. We’ll probe challenging questions evoked by this thought-provoking story. Who are people in our culture robbed by racism, crime, poverty, violence, abuse, corruption, and thrown to the side of road like the victim in this parable? Since Samaritans were despised outcastes, what injustice and anger must this Samaritan have overcome to fuel such compassion on another suffering person? What can we learn, in our world filled with so many overwhelming needs, from the specific actions by the Samaritan to wisely meet needs? Come ready to be inspired and equipped to take genuine acts of compassion and justice in the name of Christ.
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  • Dec 7, 2014Neighbors in Need
    Dec 7, 2014
    Neighbors in Need
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    Jesus surprised everyone in the crowd when he shared the Parable of the Good Samaritan. We’ll probe challenging questions evoked by this thought-provoking story. Who are people in our culture robbed by racism, crime, poverty, violence, abuse, corruption, and thrown to the side of road like the victim in this parable? Since Samaritans were despised outcastes, what injustice and anger must this Samaritan have overcome to fuel such compassion on another suffering person? What can we learn, in our world filled with so many overwhelming needs, from the specific actions by the Samaritan to wisely meet needs? Come ready to be inspired and equipped to take genuine acts of compassion and justice in the name of Christ.
  • Nov 23, 2014The Healing of Jesus
    Nov 23, 2014
    The Healing of Jesus
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    We’re among a huge crowd jammed around Jesus on his way to the home of Jairus, a prominent synagogue leader, whose daughter is dying. Can you feel the anticipation for another miracle? Don’t push as we move faster to get there before the girl dies. Suddenly everything stops. Why did Jesus stop? Look ahead. Can you see Jesus talking with someone? Must be an important man to stop Jesus on the way to Jairus’ home. You’ve got to be kidding! Jesus is talking with that homeless woman, can’t remember her name, she’s been sick for a long time. Jesus touched her and healed her and called her a daughter! Here we go again to Jairus’ house. Look at the weeping and wailing. The girl is dead. Wait. Hear the cheering? The girl is walking out with her parents. Jesus raised her back to life. What a journey with two diverse people healed. Jairus is a blessed religious leader, but we’ve always viewed that woman as cursed by God and religiously unclean. Jairus is a wealthy community leader, but the woman is impoverished after spending everything on doctors to no avail. Everyone knows Jairus, but we can’t recall the woman’s name. They do have something in common. They were both desperate, trusted Jesus, and experienced healing deep in their lives. Are we desperate for Jesus? Do we need to go through painful circumstances before we will trust Jesus? How do we view diverse people like Jairus and this woman? Let’s continue this epic story and challenging questions on Sunday.
  • Nov 16, 2014Spiritual Soil
    Nov 16, 2014
    Spiritual Soil
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    Imagine you’re traveling in the year 2034 and we run into each other at an airport or conference or reunion. We would celebrate seeing each other after 20 years and catch up about where we live, our families, our work, and a lot more. Then we would ask about our faith. What will we say? Tragically, too many people will have fallen away from God because life became dominated by careers demands, education stress, too much media, family worries, seductive sins, or other things that can choke out our faith. I know what we’re thinking. Not me! I’m not going to wander away from God! No one thinks they will become too busy for God, or mix up life’s priorities, or fall into sin, or die unready to face God. But we know too many people whose hearts became hardened with tragic consequences. How can we build faith that lasts and stands the test of time? We’ll study the “Parable of the Sower” to grasp the power of the “seed” of the Gospel and discern the condition of the “soil” of our hearts. Come ready to be challenged to look within ourselves and inspired by the power of the Gospel that we too often miss.
  • Nov 2, 2014The Upside Down Kingdom
    Nov 2, 2014
    The Upside Down Kingdom
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    Jesus comes down a mountain, for the first time with his twelve apostles gathered together, to a huge crowd with expectations of the Messiah, but surprises everyone with by teaching what we call The Beatitudes. The kingdoms and cultures of the world so often value power, success, appearance, accolades, comfort, etc. But Jesus defines the ethics of the Kingdom of God, upside down from so many expectations, challenging his followers to pursue humility, generosity, sacrifice, forgiveness, etc. Sometimes living these values will be honored, while other times we might face persecution, but we rejoice that God has eternal reward for those who live as the Kingdom of God on earth. Jesus explains if we seek after these values we’ll build our lives on the rock solid foundation of God, but if we chase after worldly values, our lives will be like a house on shifting sand. Come ready to be challenged to look through the lens of God’s kingdom to make changes in our lives and how we look at the world.
  • Oct 26, 2014The Authority of Jesus
    Oct 26, 2014
    The Authority of Jesus
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    Luke continues unfolding the identity of Jesus with a story revealing the authority of Jesus over physical creation (by healing a paralyzed man) and spiritual realm (by forgiving sins). Do we really believe Jesus has authority over everything? This can be difficult in the midst of global chaos, human tragedies, and controlling power of sin. We’ll be challenged to discern if we live with Jesus in authority over our lives and whether we more resemble the Pharisees, in their prideful skepticism of Jesus, or the paralyzed man’s friends, who desperately persevered to get their friend to Jesus by climbing onto a roof, tearing open a hole, and lowering him down to get to Jesus.
  • Oct 19, 2014The Community of Jesus
    Oct 19, 2014
    The Community of Jesus
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    We were created for community. We need each other. We’re better together. When we are alone we are more vulnerable, but in community we can really know each other, care for each other, learn together, hold each other accountable, and equip each other to live our faith. Jesus chose to live in community. We’ll explore how Jesus called his first disciples and why he formed his community. Luke masterfully reveals how real these first disciples really were as Peter at first felt too sinful to follow Jesus and Levi (Matthew) was a despised tax collector. Luke also shows the diversity of the first people called into the community of Jesus, from wealthy Levi to working class Peter, Greek culture Levi to Jewish culture Peter, and more.
  • Oct 5, 2014The Temptation of Jesus
    Oct 5, 2014
    The Temptation of Jesus
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    Just when we commit to honor God temptations seem to arise! We decide to begin tithing and growing more generous, when suddenly our car breaks down with a big mechanic bill. We devote ourselves to academic integrity, when a friend devises the perfect scheme to cheat on an exam. We commit to breaking a substance addiction, then we find ourselves where that substance is offered. Temptations often arise when we make commitments and while we are most vulnerable. We’ll learn from Jesus, when he was fiercely tempted while vulnerable in the wilderness, how we can protect ourselves to follow Christ, and why Jesus’ obedience was so important for God’s plan of salvation.
  • Sep 28, 2014Preparing the Way
    Sep 28, 2014
    Preparing the Way
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    Imagine arriving in eternity and looking back at our lives from God’s perspective. We’ll see so many ways God was working in our lives to bring us to Christ, guide us in decisions, convict us of sins, bring people into our lives, open opportunities to serve, prepare us for the next chapter of life, and more. God is working in our lives right now to prepare the way into the future! We often don’t comprehend what the Lord is doing until later. This message will explore the ministry and message of John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus. After 430 years of silence, without God speaking through prophets since Malachi, suddenly John the Baptist appears with God’s prophetic voice to prepare people for the coming Messiah. We’ll study John’s message to learn more about the identity of Jesus and discern how God might be working in our lives, even in our “wilderness” experiences, to prepare the way for God’s purposes.
  • Sep 21, 2014The Dedication of Jesus
    Sep 21, 2014
    The Dedication of Jesus
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    Luke continues masterfully unfolding the identity of Jesus by introducing two witnesses, Simeon and Anna, who testify that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah, fulfilling the Jewish Law requiring testimony of two witnesses. Sometimes waiting for God to act in the midst of painful circumstances, unanswered prayers, or unfulfilled expectations is so hard. Simeon and Anna were longing for Messiah to come redeem their hurting people. We’ll join in their celebration, learn from their lives, and explore their prophecies defining Jesus’ mission.
  • Sep 14, 2014The Birth of Jesus
    Sep 14, 2014
    The Birth of Jesus
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    Based on his extensive research, and guided by God’s Spirit, Luke continues unfolding the identity of Jesus, by describing how God orchestrated the birth of Jesus. We’ll explore how the arrival of Jesus was both miraculous and mundane. God worked miraculously by fulfilling Old Testament prophecies that Messiah would be born of a virgin in Bethlehem, and situated Jesus’ parents in Bethlehem at exactly the time for the birth, through a census called by the Roman Emperor. These miraculous events help reveal the unique identity of Jesus. But the birth of Jesus was also mundane. He was born into a lower class family, to stressed out parents, in an insignificant little town, during violent oppression, and his birth was first announced to peasant shepherds. This real-life humble scenario reminds us of God’s activity in everyday life and sends a message that Jesus came for everyone!