Sermon Series: Heavenly Virtues

1/11 - 2/23/2020

Some of our most dominant social values today are education, success, and wealth — what we may call “Achievement Values.”  We may be "successful," but how often do we consider the state of our souls? This seven-week series helps us shift from from achievement values to heavenly virtues, or what author David Brooks calls eulogy virtues. These form the foundation of a life rooted in faith.

Connection Group Materials

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Messages

2/22 - 2/23/2020 | Humility

The issue of humility is difficult because we think we are greater than we are, at the expense of recognizing the greatness of God, or we think we are lesser than we are, at the expense of recognizing the person God made. Jesus, having all the power of God, did not exploit that to become greater on this Earth, instead becoming a servant. Conversely, Isaiah initially tried to evade the call of God.

2/15 - 2/16/2020 | Kindness

Truthfully, most of us aren’t cruel, at least not like a movie villain. However, we can offer a weak form of interaction with others, never engaging our heart and only trying to "check a box" to make sure we meet expectations. We can only truly be kind when we first see the worth of those around us. As Jesus describes it, we serve Christ by loving and serving others.

2/8 - 2/9/2020 | Patience

Job experiences an immense amount of loss in a very short time. He grieves and mourns his losses, but does he truly express his honest thoughts and emotions? Eventually, he explodes in anger towards God in a way that isn’t helpful. What would have happened if Job had shown enough patience to grieve and express his frustration?

2/1 - 2/2/2020 | Temperance

Fasting is a crucial part of our faith journey when we choose not to satisfy our cravings, to connect with Christ in his suffering and to realize our identities are not centered in worldly things. However, God gives us all the gifts of creation; they are a “right, good and joyful thing.” How do we find a balance between these two seemingly opposite commands?

Challenge Tasks

First Level | Identify something you overindulge in or underindulge. Give that up/Take that up for the week.

Next Level | Tell someone about it, and ask them to keep you accountable.

1/25 - 1/26/2020 | Justice

With wisdom, we find courage, and with courage we learn justice, which is what happens when we take a stand for the least and the lost among us. To do this, we need to recognize what needs to be done and the unique ways we can act. Though she could have turned a blind eye, Pharaoh’s daughter rescued Moses because she had both the courage and the position to act.

Challenge Tasks

First Level | Google and reflect on the life of William Wilberforce: “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”

Next Level | Sign up to volunteer with the Storehouse ministry.

1/18 - 1/19/2020 | Courage

With an internal compass to understand wisdom, we discover courage to speak up for what is right. However, the source of bravery isn't our own strength but God: our protector, our shield, our stronghold. We become cowardly when we depend on ourselves for courage: we lose faith and falter. We become rash and fool ourselves into thinking we don't need God’s grace.

Challenge Tasks

First Level | Watch Hidden Figures.

Next Level | Talk to someone you see every day but don’t interact with. Ask them about their life; listen to their story.

1/11 - 1/12/2020 | Wisdom

The first of the classic “cardinal virtues” of the faith, wisdom is what the Old Testament writers describe as the basis for understanding God. All good change begins with choices made out of wisdom, which leads to making better choices for your life. How do we learn to be wise? Wisdom comes from the presence of the Lord.

Challenge Tasks:

First Level | Reflect upon an action you made this week. Was this a wise action or not? What could have been done if not?

Next Level | Schedule lunch with someone you see as a mentor or can help make you wise.

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