The true sages of our day live out of a wisdom that is from “above." Wisdom from “below” is bitter, envious, boastful, and full of false truths. Wisdom from above is gentle, peaceable, and bears no trace of partiality. To live with wisdom, we must learn of mercy that is gentle.Read More
Our words are used to cut people down and drown people out. Our tongues are like tameless beasts used to both praise the Lord and curse our neighbor. This ought not to be so. For us to live with mercy, we must learn to control the parts of us that seek mercilessness.Read More
A faith without works is dead. Lifeless. Pointless. The faith we have in God and in one another must birth in us action and care and a willingness to give of what we have to serve one another.Read More
A lot of trees have died with authors attempting to explain what “true” religion “ought” to be. Rarely do we hear a succinct and powerful description, but James delivers. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, according to James, is this: “to care for the orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” It is time we take these words to heart. Our religion is only as pure as our ability to care for those who are need of care.Read More
When we step out into the world, we need to wear the right outfit — spiritually speaking. In Ephesians 6, Paul uses the metaphor of armor to help explain what is best for us to “put on” to help us move the world. This sermon will explore what this outfit is and why it is so important.Read More
Imitating Jesus helps us find our voice. It helps us find out how we can authentically showcase our humanity to the world while also spreading the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5 gives four responses to what our voice sounds like when we are truly imitating Christ.
Sermon Synopsis - It does us no good to possess gifts if we have no place to use them. As imitators of Christ, we must learn to stand on new and firm ground that allows us to use our gifts to make the world a better place. This sermon gives seven ways in which we can find solid ground.Read More
Sermon Synopsis - Finally, there are enthronement psalms that celebrate the Lord as the rightful king. These psalms are what the trajectory of the whole Psalter points us to — a future with God as King. Take Psalm 99: “The Lord is King, let the people tremble! He sits enthroned ion the cherubim; the earth quake! He is exalted over all people. Let them praise your great and awesome name. Holy is He!” This sermon will cast a vision for how the Psalms point us to God’s future reign.Read More
Wisdom Psalms provide instruction in right living and right faith. Take Psalm 1: “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers, but their delight is in the law of the LORD.” Or Psalm 133, “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity.” Both of these psalms remind us of the need for right living and right faith. This sermon will remind us of the power of claiming the truths of these ancient wisdoms.Read More
Psalm 24 have some of the most revered one-liners: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it. Who shall stand in his holy place . . . those with clean hands and pure hearts . . . Who is this king of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of Glory.” This hymn of communal thanksgiving reminds us of our need for corporate worship and collective praise. This sermon will focus on the power of communal thanksgiving.Read More
“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures . . . he restores my soul. Psalm 23 is an individual hymn of thanksgiving. It is from the lips of David thanking God for God’s provisions. We can learn a lot about this posture of praise and offering ourselves to God in this kind of prayer. This sermon explores how.Read More
“Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD, Lord, hear my voice.” This is one of the most powerful expressions of lament. It is personal, vulnerable, and bare, but it also moves to hope towards the end. This level of lament opens the door for us to therapeutically speak to God and then work towards restitution and hope.Read More
Communal lament is cathartic and necessary. It speaks hyperbolic words that may not actually come to pass but words that need to be expressed regardless. In Psalm 14 you hear, “Fools say in their hearts there is no God . . . The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind to see if there are any who are wise, who seek after God. They have all gone astray, they are all perverse. No one does good. No, not one.” This level of hyperbole says something about the Israelites.
Royal psalms speak of the Lord’s provisions for the Israelite kings (David and Solomon) who reigned in Jerusalem during their monarchy. This psalm blesses the kingship of David and gives God the praise for his courage and leadership. These psalms remind us of Israel’s need to bless those in authority and to see how God is using the kings to further the ongoing creation of the wold. It also gives us a glimpse in how God’s people saw God working in this world. Some things are not that different today.Read More