Trusting God With Your Needs

Pastor Rachel teaches on the second half of the Lord’s Prayer, unpacking what it means to trust God with both your physical and spiritual needs.

Scripture: Matthew 6:11-13

The Good Shepherd

Sheep have a unique ability to distinctly hear and recognize the voice of their own shepherd. Or, perhaps we should say, shepherds have the special ability to get the attention of their own sheep even amongst the competing, crowded noisy voices of other shepherds and flocks.

And even in today’s modern world, there are countless thieves, wolves and strangers crying out to you – vying for your attention and allegiance – trying to rob you of life itself. Forcing us to ask: what other ‘voices’ are you listening to?

We are best off trying to recognize, hear and obey the voice of Jesus – The Good Shepherd – finding abundant life in Him alone. Watch to hear what Jesus means when he tells the Pharisees: “I am the Gate,” and “I am the Good Shepherd.”

Scripture: John 10:1-15

I am the Bread of Life

This new sermon series takes us to the book of John in the New Testament. We will be looking at the metaphors that Jesus uses as he describes himself. In John 6 Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.” In context, Jesus had just performed a miracle that fed 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish and then calmed the rough sea, and yet the people were more focused on what Jesus did versus believing that he himself was the goal of their faith. We often like Jesus for what he can give us versus loving him for who he is.

Bread is a universal food that most people thoroughly enjoy and is needed for life. Jesus symbolically gives us bread to point to the fact that ultimately he himself is the true bread for us. We often allow so many other things to take the place of Jesus. This passage reminds us that Jesus is our everything! He fills our holes, bridges the gaps and gives us hope for the future. It really is all about Jesus.

Scripture: John 6

Ask and It Will Be Given To You… Really?

Have you ever questioned God as to why some prayers go unanswered? “Ask, seek, knock and it will be given to you”, right? This Bible passage used out of context turns God into a vending machine. We put in our ‘spiritual coins’ (the good things we’re supposed to do: give, pray, help, and show up on Sundays) and according to this verse God is supposed to answer our prayers. If it was only that easy. This sermon gives the context for these inspirational Biblical verses and tells us how God’s presence is the gift we are looking for.

Scripture: Luke 11:9-10

Doubting God

The Bible has a unique perspective on doubt. Religious people will say that doubt is bad, that it’s for those who are weak in faith… you just need to trust in God! While the secular person says that doubt is good. Doubt everything—don’t trust anything!

Yet, the Psalmist (and the rest of the Scriptures) don’t fall for this trap. Instead, we see that doubt isn’t necessarily good or bad, but has a central purpose- to lead us into a higher expression of faith that transforms us and takes us deeper.

Because of his personal experiences and thought process, Asaph (the Psalmist) openly struggled with the age-old problem of why the innocent suffer and the wicked prosper. Yet, it was also an experience (with God) that recalibrated his perspective that present realities are not ultimate realities.

Scripture: Psalm 73; John 20:24-28

The Foolishness of God

As we celebrate Palm Sunday, we remember that Jesus entered Jerusalem with a different expectation of triumph and victory than what was originally desired.

In the first century Corinthian culture, the message of the cross was utterly foolish and a stumbling block for both the non-religious and religion person.

Culture tells us to put our trust in wealth, beauty, power and fame or being a ‘good religious person’ to bring us acceptance and superior status. Yet, as Paul demonstrates in this letter, we should boast in Christ crucified because that is actually the very wisdom and power – the status – that we’ve been looking for our whole life.

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Control Freaks

Humans naturally find themselves planning. We’re constantly thinking ahead, strategizing, arranging all the details and envisioning each and every step of our future. In other words, our culture values control and independence.

Planning is certainly good, but it’s not God. This passage is not telling us to not plan. What James is getting at is not allowing your plans to take the place of God. And that’s actually a really good reminder because if you do that, you’re forgetting one pretty fundamental fact – we are all finite, dependent creatures. We don’t know the future.
The good news is that there is freedom when we’re dependent on God for our plans. If you want true freedom, you need to give up your control. We don’t have to have all of the answers for our future because our human limitations make for a divine invitation.

Scripture: James 4:13-17

Identity Theft

In the midst of such a ‘docile, joy-filled letter’, Paul passionately cautions his readers to be aware of a particular group of Christ followers who are pushing others to find their status and identity around circumcision. In offering his own personal experience, Paul suggests that nothing compares to forming your sole and ultimate identity ‘in Jesus’ – that this, indeed, is the true path to ‘life.’ As a result, we – as 21st century followers of Jesus – are urged to recognize the spheres that we place our false confidence and identity in and replace them with the transforming reality of Jesus.

Scripture: Philippians 3:1-11