Sermon Series: Between Friends

2/18 - 3/18/2018

Jesus says that the greatest love is to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. We describe marriage this way, but any friendship can be as holy, if the love of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit are between the two friends. When Jesus laid down his life for us, he showed us what kind of friends we can have, and what kind of friends we can be.

 

Messages

3/18/2018 | Friendships Don't Fail

Christian friendships are sacred. They are about more than just the here and now. Christian friendships have a combined mission and they aren’t limited by life here on earth. When done right, Christian friendships change the world and last for eternity.

3/11/2018 | Friends Persevere

David and Jonathan is the quintessential friendship in Scripture, so deep and rich that it is described using the word “covenant”, like God’s relationship with us. The friendship of Jonathan and David survives everything. This is what a covenant is: a promise that no matter what, the relationship will persevere.

3/4/2018 | Friends Always Protect

Even after they separated for the good of their respective families, Abraham kept Lot’s best interests. When he heard that Lot had been captured, he risked everything in order to rescue Lot and Lot’s people. A true friend doesn’t release responsibility at the first opportunity, but continues to protect others.

2/25/2018 | Friends Are Not Self-Seeking

When she was no longer bound to Naomi by marriage, and when others would return to their home, Ruth remained with her grieving mother-in-law. When brokenness happens, sometimes the greatest gift comes from those who stay. A true friend doesn’t pursue comfort, but seeks the love and health of another.

2/18/2018 | Friends Do Not Brag

The greatest prophet since Moses, Elijah performed miracle upon miracle. It would have been easy for him to brag in a way that prevented him from developing real friendships. Yet after Elijah finishes his most amazing miracle, he throws his cloak—his authority—over his friend. A true friend doesn’t brag, but brings another along.

All Series

More Than Conquerors
5/14 - 6/19/2022
In the early first century, culturally speaking, everything was positioned around the idea that a nation ought to expand and conquer to accumulate power and influence. In this way, the movement that began with Jesus was positioned well to be a religion that was focused on going out in the world, spreading its message to new nations, and converting others to this system of beliefs. The world was primed for a religious movement that would respond to the great commission, and in effect, go forth and conquer. Yet, the church was not about conquering. It did not hope to extinguish and assimilate every other person and culture. Instead, the early church grew on the basis that it had the ability to universally speak to the human condition of brokenness and offer hope and promise in the wake of that very condition. The church would be more than the conquerors. Everyone was coming to believe in the promise of God. The Gospel reached into different cultures, differently idioms and languages altogether. In this message, they preached and believed that Jesus would return again, and would return again sooner rather than later. Nobody could have fathomed the idea that 2000 years into the future, we would still be waiting on this return. They were teaching each other lessons and lifting each other up in the hopes that they would be alive to see the grand return. However, those lessons taught have a practicality that transcends any time period. In growing over this time, the church moved beyond the disciples. What was once an effort of individuals and leaders who had all had direct connections to, and conversations with, the risen Lord now transitioned to a movement of different ages, nations, and races of converted believers who had simply heard the Good News of the Gospel. They would lean on their own spiritual experiences of the divine rather than tangible interactions with God Incarnate. What will leadership look like in this new Church? Who can be a part of this faith movement? What will be required to participate? Most importantly, how do those messages speak to us today?
Appeared
4/23 - 5/8/2022
Easter has come, Christ has been resurrected. We have enjoyed the big celebrations, the Easter egg hunts, and the family meals, but we forget that there was more than an empty tomb after Christ was resurrected. There were more visits than the brief encounter of the women in the garden. A fully resurrected Christ is a free Christ. Jesus could have gone anywhere and done anything after the resurrection, and yet he chose to search for the disciples. Jesus sought out the ones who abandoned and failed him more than anyone else. The ones who swore loyalty disappeared. The ones who followed in his footsteps for three years turned their backs on the suffering Savior. The ones who pledged to help transform the world abandoned the mission in fear and shame. Yet the story of the cross and resurrection is true for each of us through the power of God’s grace: we are more than our worst moments. The worst thing is never the last thing. What might those disciples have been feeling after the cross? Can you imagine the deep silence between them? The shared knowledge of their failures? The unrelenting question: “What now?” Brene Brown defines shame as “an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love, belonging, and connection.” It is not hard to imagine the deep shame of these disciples, one that each of them knew intimately and yet did not want to name. Shame assigns identity based on our worst moments. It thrives on secrecy. It is “the fear that something we’ve done or failed to do, an ideal we’ve not lived up to, or a goal we’ve not accomplished makes us unworthy of connection” (Brene Brown, Atlas of the Heart, 137). We see over and over again in the Gospels and Acts scenes of redemption and healing through God’s grace. Jesus could have chosen to abandon the ones who left him at the cross, who pretended they did not even know him, to start from scratch with better disciples. Yet in God’s infinite grace and unrelenting love, the disciples were chosen for connection, relationship, and entrusted with the mission of Christ. Jesus confronts their failures head on. This is the Christian story: our deepest shame is redeemed and we are transformed into world-changing disciples