Sermon Series: Why I Give

10/27 - 11/18/2018

Many churches like to talk about giving in relationship to the work of the church. The problem is that the focus is in the wrong place. The heart of what it means to give isn’t about the support of an institution, no matter how good. The act of giving is about a state of generosity. Giving begins not with a what, but with a why. Everything changes. The act of giving becomes not a burden but a privilege, an opportunity to take on an essential characteristic at the heart of God, who so loved the world, he gave.

Messages

11/17 - 11/18/2018 | Why Not?

In the middle of several stories in Matthew’s gospel about meeting people in their place of need, Jesus stops the most selfish man in town and challenges him to learn what it means to give. When we give, we see that God does more than give us things in return - God is giving himself, through his son Jesus and through the Holy Spirit, who reshapes our hearts to be like Christ’s. Our generosity becomes a reflection of the love, sacrifice and self-emptying of the Creator, who is the source of all gifts.

11/10 - 11/11/2018 | For God

We give because God is the source of every good thing in our lives. While we may begin giving for a variety of personal interests and needs, we eventually discover that through our belief in and journey with Jesus, we become members of his holy church and that in this holy community we are called to a duty and a responsibility to give.

11/3 - 11/4/2018 | For Others

Paul describes the church as an interconnected organism in which nutrients benefit the whole body and not just one part. While our motivation to give may begin with our own needs, we soon discover that the need is great, and when we give, we help others. As Jesus says, “The size of the harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest.”

10/27 - 10/28/2018 | For Us

While it may seem counter to the selflessness Jesus aspires us to attain, why we give begins with our own story. Just as people asked Jesus for help, and he responded with compassion, why we give may begin with us - for the betterment of our loved ones, our families and friends, and ourselves. Be encouraged! Jesus loves us and meets us in our places of need.

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