When the Bible says “the love of God”, it draws our focus to the love God the father pours out into the whole redemptive program. All the persons of the Trinity equally possess and operate out of love, but the Father especially, poignantly manifests this love in a way that includes us. When it says the fellowship “koinonia” participation of the Spirit it draws our focus to the fellowship the Holy Spirit pours out into our hearts and lives right now. All the persons of the godhead equally possess and operate out of this koinonia, but the Holy Spirit especially, poignantly manifests this fellowship right now in a way that includes us. The Trinity, the inner reality of God’s connection, relatedness, belonging, is a shared reality. It is a shared sense of loving community God shares with us.
It’s the BIGGEST sports day of the year – Super Bowl Sunday! Today we will be hearing faith stories from NFL players. Hear from Drew Brees, Trent Dilfer, Thomas Davis III and other players from Super Bowl 52 who share their stories of faith, loss, overcoming tragedies and playing on the biggest stages of their lives. All the while loving and trusting He who matters most, Jesus Christ. This will be a great day to encourage & inspire you!
Today, we’re wrapping up a four-part message series called “Small Things, Big Difference.” And I’ll tell you, just as we get into this, personally, this is my favorite of all the messages that we’ve studied. And we’re going to cover one small thought that we’ll come back to again and again, that I want to say, I honestly believe, for some of you, has the potential to propel you forward into more of what God wants for you than you’ve ever experienced before. Today, what I want to do is talk to you about the power of our habits, or we might say our “disciplines,” because we are what we repeatedly do. We are what we repeatedly do.
This week, we talk about the power of our words. In the beginning, was the word and the word was with God. And the word was God. And the word became flesh. Whenever God created the world, he did it with the spoken word; our words are incredibly powerful. In fact, Solomon said this about our words in Proverbs 18:21, he said, “The tongue has massive power.” What kind of power does the tongue have? He said, “The tongue has the power of life and of death.” In other words, the words that we speak can be life-giving words or the words we speak can be life-taking words.
The most important thing doesn’t always get the first priority – but it should. What will it take to stop being distracted by the urgent and start focusing on the meaningful? Today, let’s decide to put First Things First.
This message teaches about how to prioritize your day, week, month, and year with practical ways to put God first.
That Star of Bethlehem briefly mentioned in Matthew’s account of the Christmas story drew those wise seekers from afar to the Savior thousands of years ago. It must have led them over rough routes and smooth ones, through easy passages and ones that appeared difficult with no way to cross. It remained before them as they undoubtedly encountered friends and fellow travelers and as they sat in the company of deceptive and powerful people like King Herod. Through all the circumstances and surprises of their journey, the star never faltered or failed. It faithfully pointed the way to Jesus. So together we continue to look for the light today as we follow the star on a journey of peace.
Blessings, Pastor Erik
Today is the third Sunday of Advent, and we are glad you’re here journeying with us through this season. If you haven’t been with us the past couple of weeks, we have been walking through the season of Advent. It’s a season of preparation and expectation and purposeful focus as we move toward the celebration of Christmas and of Christ’s arrival.
Our guiding symbol through the season is the star. Just as that Star of Bethlehem drew the wise men toward the Savior thousands of years ago, the star guides our focus on a spiritual journey of hope, love, joy, and peace that all connect us to the Morning Star, the light of the world, Jesus.
As we continue to follow the star toward Christmas, it leads us today to focus on a journey of joy. Joy can be the fuel that brightens our journey, and it is a fascinating concept. Joy is often misunderstood. It is often confused with happiness. And it regularly shows up in situations where it may be least expected.
This week, part three is probably my personal favorite of all four of the messages. We’re going to deal with the very popular cultural belief that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you don’t hurt anyone.
The reality is God never said that and our actions matter a lot.
We love offering little nuggets of advice, support, or sympathy. They come in handy when we want people to feel better. But what if the guidance you’re giving or receiving just isn’t true? What if God Never Said That?
This four-week series tackles common myths about God, like “God wants you happy” or “God never gives you more than you can handle,” and how those myths keep us from having a deeper relationship with Him.
Part 1, we’re going to talk about what may be the most popular misbelief about God in our western version of Christianity. That is that God wants you happy.
I would love with all my heart to be able to tell you, above all else, God wants you happy. Above all else, God wants you to enjoy your life. Above all else, God only wants good things to happen in your life, and God never wants anything bad to happen in your life, because for you, the bottom line is: God wants you to be happy.
Do you ever get discouraged? Don’t answer that, because I already know the answer. Of course you do, you’re human. Encouragement is something we all need. Thank God it is something He has promised to every one of us. I’d like you to first see that the word, “encouragement”, is not used in the King James Version of the Bible. Instead, you’ll see the word “comfort” which is used 10 times in this passage from 2 Corinthians. It is also translated “consolation” and used to describe the Holy Spirit who is called the Comforter (John 14 & 15). I want you to know the sweet encouragement that only our Savior can bring. And once you receive that gift, to pass it on, thereby allowing the Holy Spirit to fill you up again and again.
God is the One who encourages us so that we may be able to comfort others. This is the purpose of encouragement! We are blessed that we might be a blessing.
This Sunday, we look to God to bring us encouragement so we can pass it on to others!