The Life and Times of Samuel – March 24, 2024

“Spirit-filled Saul”

1 Samuel 11:1-15

Maybe we see something a type of injusticec on the news, and it infuriates you. But sometimes you don’t act on it because you feel like you don’t have power. But as Christians, we too have something powerful inside of us- a source of power called the Holy Spirit, God himself living in us.

Our Bible story today is about what happens when the Holy Spirit moves a person and takes control of their heart. We see that the Holy Spirit makes us angry at evil and dedicated to God’s glory.

The Life and Times of Samuel – March 10, 2024

“The Calling of Samuel”

1 Samuel 3

For some of us, we don’t know what it means to “hear God” because God doesn’t normally speak audibly, yet the Bible tells us we are meant to know and recognize his voice.

John 10:27 tells us, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

So, we know that it should be normal for followers of Jesus to listen to his voice. But how does this happen? How does this work? So, my big question today is: How do we listen to God’s voice? 

The Life and Times of Samuel – February 25, 2024

“The Birth of Samuel (The Story of Hannah)”

1 Samuel 1:1-20

This week, we begin our series on the life and times of the prophet Samuel.

Today, I want to start off with a question: What is the most mysterious part of prayer? Is it the lack of answers or the deafening silence? Or maybe it seems like God says yes to some people but then he says no to others?

We find prayer to be really mysterious. So my big question today is: What is the kind of prayer that God honors?

That’s what our Bible story is about today. Our Bible passage comes from 1 Samuel 1:1-20. It’s a longer story, but it’s a good one.

Our passage today tells us that God honors us when we:

  1. Bring ourselves as we are
  2. When we trust what He has said

Revelation: Seeing the Invisible – February 11, 2024

“Fire and Brimstone”

Revelation 18:1-5

The bible talks about a time when Jesus comes back and gets rid of evil forever. When the Bible talks about the final judgment it sounds pretty scary, and it should cause all of us to pause because all of us have done things that are wrong. There are no perfect people – including myself – nor perfect societies.

But, there is a just and righteous God who will one day overthrow everything that is evil and sinful, including us and whatever empires we have built without Him. The good news, however, is that the Bible tells us that God, out of His great love, has made a way for us to escape the judgment to come.

So, my big question today is: how can we be ready for God’s judgment?

We find our answer in our Bible passage this week. There are two keys for being ready for God’s judgement:

  1. Expect justice
  2. Escape early

Revelation: Seeing the Invisible – January 28, 2024

“To the Church in Smyrna”

Revelation 2:8-11

I think all of us need assurance sometimes. Maybe not specifically a nightmare you had last night, but maybe you’re going through a breakup or maybe dealing with the loss of a loved one. And life feels like a nightmare right now.

Maybe it feels like we are being tested to our absolute limits and it feels like this season will never end. So, my question today is: What assurance do we have when everything goes wrong? 

Our big idea today is Jesus is with us through times of trouble. Today I want to talk about how great it is that we are not alone in the storms of life. Jesus never promises a problem-free life but he does promise to be with us in the trouble.

Priorities: A Study in John Chapter 17 – December 31, 2023

“Knowing God”

John 17:1-8

When my son, Jalen, was a baby there were times at night when he would just cry uncontrollably. Maybe he wants milk? Maybe he’s hungry? So, we would give him milk and still he would just cry and cry. What does he want? Maybe a diaper change? So, we changed his diaper and still he would just cry and cry. We carried and danced with him but still he would just cry and cry. We gave him a soother, same result!

We called this the witching hour because we couldn’t figure out what he wanted! It was frustrating because he would do this almost every day. He would just cry and cry, and nothing would soothe him.

Then out of frustration, I put him down in front of the TV, and shockingly he stopped! He would just watch TV. The next day it worked again, and again and again! What a relief! Life would be so much easier if babies could just tell you what they want, it would save so much time and your sanity.

Sometimes, that’s how it can feel like in our relationship with God. If God could just tell us what He wants, and what is important, then we can see clearly what it means to be His follower.

So, my big question today is: What does Jesus want? Our Bible passage today comes from John 17: 1-5.

There are two ideas in our passage that I want to explore today:

  1. Jesus wants glory
  2. God’s glory is good for everyone

Christmas (2023) – December 17, 2023

“The Greatness & Humility of Christ”

John 1:1-14

All kinds of things grab our attention, especially during Christmas! December can be really busy. We have family parties and we have to buy presents!

And if we’re not careful we can miss the greatest thing about Christmas! So, my big question today is: Why is Jesus worth our attention this Christmas season? 

In our passage, we will learn 2 things about Jesus:

  1. Jesus is the still greatest person we can know, and…
  2. He is also the humblest person we can know. 

Holiness: A Study on Leviticus – December 3, 2023

Leviticus 21:16-23

My main question for today is: what is heaven like?

We see all these ideas in an unexpected place in the Bible. Our Bible passage today is about a weird law that the ancient Hebrews had to follow. But it’s a law that helps us understand what heaven is like and it gives us something to look forward to.

When we fully understand, it should motivate us to make earth a bit more like heaven.

As strange as it may seem, our passage today gives us two ideas about Heaven:

  1. Heaven is a place of wholeness
  2. Heaven is a place of complete fellowship

Holiness: A Study on Leviticus – November 12, 2023

Leviticus 10:1-7

One of the great things about basketball is that it gives people a chance to be part of a team that shares a common mission. Even if they don’t make it into the NBA, it’s the journey that counts the most! It’s the friendships you make along the way. The character formation and the habits created.

These ideas carry over to other parts of life because life is a team game. And following Jesus is a team game and as Christians, we share a mission together.

So, my big question today is: How can we fulfill our responsibilities on God’s team?

We find two answers in our passage today:

  1. We need to obey what God says
  2. We need to bring him honor

We see these answers in our Bible story, which is about some serious drama that happened in the household of the high priest Aaron.