The Sophomoric Philosophy goes like this: "The more you study, the more you know. The more you know, the more you forget. The more you forget, the less you know. So why study?" Ah, philosophy. Even the Apostle Paul encountered the deep thinkers of the day with the gospel. Athens was teeming with religious philosophies and intelligent thinkers, but they were ignorant on the truth of God. Paul, knowing his audience, described God to them & ended with repentance.
We are often challenged to "get out of our comfort zone" when it comes to sharing the gospel. But have we ever been challenged to share the gospel in our comfort zone? The Apostle Paul, on several occasions, entered a synagogue to teach on the Sabbath. Luke even says it was Paul's "custom" to enter the synagogue. Paul plugged in to a section of culture where he could easily share the gospel & talk of Jesus as the Christ. Where has God placed you to share the gospel? Where is your comfort zone? Get in the zone.
Happy Mother's Day! Hannah was a godly woman dealing with some pretty adverse cultural circumstances. Add to that a drastic broken relationship. How Hannah responded to adversity is a key to the character traits of a godly woman. Her example is one of humility, honesty & faith.
Do you ever feel the burden to share your faith with others, but feel unable to effectively communicate it? Tune in to what the Bible says about the different ways to communicate the gospel, as well as the right motivation, methods, or much more! While it can be scary or hard to do, this Christian discipline is very near to God's heart-Let's go do it!
There are so many reasons why we don't study the Bible. I wish we had a longer list of reasons why we DO study the Bible. Today's message is very practical. We need to get a grip on God's Word. Do you have a high view of God's Word? If you do, then you are probably a student of the Word as well. The purpose of personal Bible study isn't to simply gain more knowledge but to know the Author of the Book.
No matter where you are on the spectrum of your spiritual journey, I think it is safe to say that everyone wants to be better at praying. Whether it's consistency or depth or vigilance, we long to strive for more. Praying is hard work. It is a discipline too. In our series, Stuff Christians Believe, we see the importance of a lifestyle of prayer. Take up the challenge and pray for the 500 with us!
Why do we worship? Genuine worship is our response to who God is. Last week we were reminded that God is Awesome. In response to that truth, we worship. We recognize our utter dependence on Him. Psalm 96 is a call to worship. We are called & created by God to worship. The Westminster Shorter Catechism: the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
This Easter we kicked off a new sermon series called Stuff Christians Believe, highlighting some of the foundational beliefs and practices of Christians throughout the centuries. On Easter Sunday we talked about how to categorize Jesus. Pop culture accepts Jesus as a good moral teacher, but in this message we show why Jesus cannot be just a good moral teacher. In an adaptation of C. S. Lewis' classic argument, we show that Jesus must be either a Liar, a Lunatic, a Legend, or the Lord. What do you do with Jesus?
What happens when you follow God's will for your life & things go south? You can still trust God even when things don't turn out the way you thought they should. You can still trust God that he will provide justice in his time. The stories of Acts 16 should bring hope to all of us that we can rejoice in our sufferings when doing what God has called us to do.
Very few of us like being told "no." But what happens when God says, "No." How do we react? How we react is a pretty clear picture of our spiritual maturity. In today's study in Acts, we see the Holy Spirit stopping the Pauline entourage from entering Asia and Bithynia. In the Christian vernacular, we often say that "God closed a door." To many, when that happens, it can be very devastating. Closed door are one of the most effective tools that the Holy Spirit uses to guide us.